The following editorial was published in Worship Facilities Magazine March 19,2011—
On Jan. 9, 2011, Horizon Community Church in Cincinnati celebrated the opening of Phase I of its new campus. After purchasing a 160-acre golf course alongside the Little Miami River in Cincinnati, Horizon Community worked with CDH Partners of Marietta, Ga., to master plan the site as the church’s new campus.
The campus development plan is phased to meet the needs of the congregation as it grows to capacity for each phase of development. An objective for church leadership was to preserve the beauty of the site and orient the campus to take full advantage of the views across the pristine landscape. Reportedly designed with sustainability in mind, the building will conserve energy through the use of energy-efficient HVAC equipment. In addition, the first phase is a traditional French Country design and establishes the foundation for future development.
Phase I includes many outdoor features that help distinguish the campus, such as a 3.5-acre pond with 10,000 square feet of terraces. CDH’s design made use of natural stone and brick on the exterior, creating an Old-World feel to the buildings as one approaches. Focal to the newly completed 65,000-square-foot building, according to CDH’s president, Bill Chegwidden, is a 400-seat chapel, which serves as the initial worship space for the new campus. A main street corridor provides ample indoor gathering spaces and easy access to the chapel; a bride’s room; administrative offices; two theater spaces for youth and children; additional educational spaces for children, youth and adults; a warming kitchen; and parking to serve the initial development. “The exposed arched wood trusses with clearstory windows enhance the warmth of the interior space in the main street area as well as in the chapel,” Chegwidden says. The mezzanine level offers access to a recreation area for the youth.
Future development of the phased master plan includes a large 800-seat worship center, a full service kitchen, doubling the size of the gathering space, a 250-seat youth theater, and expanded parking to serve the needs of a larger campus.
Bill Chegwidden is president and a founding partner of CDH Partners, Inc.