First Baptist Toccoa is a very active community church with a growing student population. Even though this church is located in a rural area in northeast Georgia, it is known for its progressive building program. Over the years, the church has expanded to meet the needs of a growing congregation.
Two years ago, the church’s leadership team realized many of its young families were leaving the church in search of broader and more progressive form of worship. This is when they contacted CDH Partners and asked for assistance in retaining their current student population and expanding it to attract others from the surrounding communities.
Designers created a building that goes beyond meeting the needs of the church’s teens. While the focus of the new addition is primarily focused on students and teens, this new 14,500 square foot space accommodates a broad range of age groups and includes a contemporary multipurpose space that is used for worship, recreation, and church fellowships. The area is equipped with a state-of-the-art stage and elevated sound booth.
The facility was designed with community in mind and offers meeting and gathering spaces. The cafe with stained concrete floors serve as a perfect location for friends to meet and talk. An enclosed glass corridor serves as a welcoming transition from a traditional church environment to this newly design contemporary space.
The Bridge Community Center is a part of the ministry of the First Baptist Church of Peachtree City, Georgia. Architects for CDH designed this space after talking with church and community leaders. The idea was to meet the needs of this growing church while also meeting the needs of a progressive community located south of the Atlanta metro area.
This brightly designed 23,000 square foot public facility is adjacent to the church but open to anyone living in the Peachtree City community. It contains multi-purpose classrooms used for support groups and tutoring, meeting rooms, a walking track, a gymnasium, and a café with an open lobby seating area that offers free WiFi.
The youth area provides indoor recreational space that also includes a gym, a basketball court, and a theatrical stage with a state-of-the-art audio and video system used for performing arts and concerts.
Peachtree City Baptist Church
Peachtree City, Georgia
When the leadership of Burnt Hickory Baptist Church considered a move to its new 28-acre campus, they asked CDH to create a master plan that would include plenty of space for future growth and expansion. During the first phase, a 131,500 square foot traditional brick and stucco multi-purpose worship facility was constructed.
The 1285-seat worship center can be easily converted for banquet seating for 700. The facility serves an additional purpose as a full sport gymnasium. A welcome/resource center encourages casual interaction between members and serves as a place where visitors can pick up information about the church and upcoming activities.
Church leaders wanted a plan that provided adequate space for young families, who make up a large portion of the church’s demographics. This led to over 50,000 square feet of the space being designated to preschool, children, and youth.
Designers used a vibrant color palette for the youth area, which features as a 400-seat youth auditorium complete with video, audio and theatrical lighting capabilities, a game room, a 200-seat children’s drive–in theater, and The Solid Rock Café. Each area contains age appropriate themes.
Burnt Hickory Baptist Church
Powder Springs, Georgia
The First Presbyterian Church of Dalton, Georgia, is located in the northwest corner of the state. It has a rich history that began in 1847. Over the past few years, the church has experienced significant growth. When session leaders contacted CDH Partners, their greatest need was for a master plan that would help them expand their current church campus and enable them to meet the needs of a growing congregation and community.
The master plan for this traditionally designed church was divided into three phases. Phase one includes the construction of a new Family Life Center, which contains a youth lounge area, walking track, basketball court that also can be used for volleyball, and a weight room. During this phase, adult classrooms were remodeled, the existing fellowship hall expanded, and additional parking added. Two additional phases will follow.
Following the purchase of 23-acres in a popular suburb north of Atlanta, Georgia, leaders for Johns Creek Baptist Church turned to CDH Partners for a master plan that included the renovation of their existing facilities and the relocation of their worship center. The construction of a 500-seat interim sanctuary and educational facility was also included in the plan.
Church leaders placed a high emphasis on congregational involvement and fellowship within the community. Therefore, phases two and three of the master plan included the construction of additional educational space, gathering places, a choir room, and a spacious 1,000-seat-multipurpose fellowship hall, which easily transforms into a gym for recreation.
The final stage of the master plan included the construction of a 2,100-seat worship center. Traditional design features include a brick exterior combined with cast stone elements. A large three-story tower increases the visibility of the church campus and allows outside light to flow into the church’s atrium. Interior design elements included the use of painted millwork, wood, and a rich color platelet enhancing the worship experience.
The sanctuary is equipped with a hidden rear screen projection system that includes blackout shades for the large windows. State-of-the-art lighting, speakers, and audio controls are concealed within the ceiling bulkheads. A pipe organ designed from solid cherry by Italian artisans fills the space with magnificent sound.
The Recreation Outreach Center for students or “The ROC”, serves as the church’s ministry center for the youth of the city of Jonesboro. The ROC features a youth lounge, game room, snack bar, weight room, and two gymnasiums. One gym is equipped with a stage that utilizes state-of-the-art theatrical lighting and audio technology. The second gym features a full size basketball court.
As a secondary phase of development of the ROC, a lower level parking deck has been enclosed to expand other community-wide ministries and church campus needs. This includes a clinic, additional educational space, the church print shop, and a shop for the church maintenance department.
Four years before moving into their new worship center the leadership team of Dunwoody United Methodist asked CDH Partners to create a master plan that included the construction of a 1200-seat worship center. The facility features traditional, liner-seating.
It also includes space for administration and educational offices along with a choir rehearsal suite. The church’s liturgical style of worship set the pattern for the design that includes a large platform to accommodate the church’s processional.
The traditional colonial style designed worship center contains palladian windows that create an atmosphere of spaciousness and light. Designers incorporated a generous use of painted millwork for rich detail. The choir loft along with its refurbished pipe organ is located at the rear of the nave.
Acoustical engineers provided the highest level of design function when dealing with surfaces that includes a marble floor, wood, and an elliptical vaulted plaster ceiling. Audio and video controls including two large retractable screens are also discretely located in the loft. A catwalk hidden from view is above the ceiling providing technicians access to lighting and the retractable video screens.
Dunwoody United Methodist Church
Dunwoody, GA 30338
The University of Georgia’s 350,000 square foot Student Physical Activities center is one of the largest facilities of this type in the country. CDH designers created a facility that incorporates space and openness but also had a sense of connectivity. They achieved this by using large windows in activity areas and enormous vaulted skylights over the natatorium and main four-court gymnasium.
The center meets a broad range of needs for intercollegiate athletics, student recreation, and academic functions. Approximately 6,500 students, faculty, and visitors come to the center everyday to enjoy its amenities.
Architects for CDH designed building heights to complement the rolling terrain that surrounds the facility and strategically sized the various activity spaces according to the exterior elevations. The sloping design allows various programs to take place on different levels, which means recreational and educational activities can function independently of the intercollegiate and spectator areas.
The center contains an Olympic size swimming with diving pools, eight basketball courts, 12 racquetball and squash courts, competition volleyball and gymnastics auditoriums, a one-eighth mile indoor jogging track, a 9700 square foot weight room, three aerobics rooms, a combative arts room, and a four story climbing wall.
An attached 70,000 square foot, three-level complex houses the health, physical education, recreation, and dance departments.
Board of Regents
University of Georgia
American School and University
#1 Student Recreation Center in the nation 1997
Located on a 100-acre site in Cherokee County, this 380,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility contains both a middle school and a high school. In creating a master plan for the campus, CDH Partners linked the two facilities at its core with a shared auditorium, kitchen, and central energy plant. The design provides gathering spaces where natural light fills the facility. Window walls are used in media area and hallways to provide a sense of spaciousness.
Each school maintains its own identity and is distinguished from one another by alternating brick colors, manipulation of the aluminum window wall system, and unique tower and roof profiles. This individuality is best illustrated in the separate gymnasia, which emerge from the junction of the instructional wings, as highly articulated design elements. Woodstock Middle and High School is currently one of the largest secondary educational facilities in Georgia.
Fayette High School is designed to accommodate 1,800 students. Classrooms are organized in wings to allow natural light into each instructional unit and are oriented to provide a clear sense of entry. A two-level central circulation spine assists linking core elements and classrooms providing easy internal orientation and spatial sequencing. The 2200-seat gymnasium, designed to accommodate regional and state athletic events, is oriented on a different axis from the main facility to remain visually distinct.
Fayette County Board of Education