Editor’s note: The following article appears in the May 2016 issue of Religious Product News.
First Baptist Church of Jonesboro has enjoyed much success at its greater Atlanta-area campus. In 2001, the church began upgrading its facilities, starting by adding a Recreation Outreach Center, called The ROC, as a ministry for youth.
In 2010, the church took on a major renovation of its 57,500-square-foot worship center. The next step was to renovate and expand its existing three-story children’s building.
Church leadership called on CDH Partners from Marietta, Georgia, the architects they had used for its previous projects, to help streamline their plans.
During previous renovations, the church had moved its fellowship hall from the first floor of the 30,000-square-foot children’s building to its old gymnasium, which opened a large amount of space. The building also had a drive-under portion that architects posed closing to add even more space.
The renovated first floor would provide a secure entrance to the Children’s Center, as well as lead to the sanctuary. This floor would include classrooms and playrooms for toddlers and pre-K students. The second floor would have classrooms for younger elementary students. And the third floor would have classrooms for older elementary students. Please continue reading.
Recently, design leaders from across the country met in New Orleans for the annual Vision Awards. Heather Lombard and Rhea Jeanne Starnes were there to accept the 2015 Healthcare award for CDH Partners. The winning project was the WellStar Pediatric Center.
The goal for the overall design was to create a safe, ambient healthcare environment that reduces stress and improves patient outcomes by helping Children and their families feel relaxed and comfortable. The Center’s flooring design guides patients and their families easily through the facility. The highlight of the interior is the use of positive distractions that can make an otherwise negative experience one that children enjoy.
After viewing CDH’s entry, one juror said, “[The design] speaks of confidence and imagination. You walk into this environment under a rainbow. It’s almost like going to Disney World!”
Each year the Vision Awards attracts an impressive array of design entries from around the country. For the sixth consecutive year the projects exemplified the height of design innovation and excellence while utilizing flooring in unique and beautiful ways.
The WellStar Pediatric Center means so much to the Cobb County, Georgia, community. This brightly lit facility contains state-of-the-art technology that was designed especially for children and students from birth to 21. CDH Partners designed it to be a relaxing environment that increases positive patient experiences while yielding better healthcare outcomes.
Interactive displays, electronic tablet stations, age appropriate seating, flat screen monitors, and window glazing make this center a place that children enjoy visiting. It also contains Urgent Care, MRI, doctor’s offices, and physical therapy. View the video here.
Later this summer WellStar Healthcare will open a children’s Pediatric center in NW Cobb County. This new facility has been designed for an extraordinary patient experience. “The challenge was to design a pediatric facility for a wide range of ages—from babies to adolescents,” says CDH project manager Rhea Jeanne Starnes.
“Many times rooms in other diagnostic centers will be colorful but this one takes color and design to another level. When it comes to imaging, WellStar is highly successful. There are children centers in place around the metro Atlanta area, but this center is different because it’s a specialty, multi-functional facility designed for kids.”
“WellStar really cares about the type of images they get, and they are using Phillips equipment, which is the top of the line. Phillips also delivers an “ambient” experience. This means that there are positive distractions built in through audio and visual technology, which is patient driven. This type of experience helps a patient relax and feel calm. It also provides better outcomes.”
Ambient lighting is soft and pleasing. It includes calming sounds for less stress and increased procedure efficiency. “Patients, in this case children, have to be really still for a long period of time, and the ambient experience can help them do this better. After all, it can be frightening to have a scan done when Mom or Dad are not as close as usual.”
WellStar is taking a further step by also including a Kitten Scanner in the facility. This is a small version of a larger scanner that is used to help children learn about their procedures. They can scan a dinosaur, a chicken, space man, or elephant. The model scanner scans the toy and then displays its “insides” on screen. This small screen helps to clarify the scanner’s purpose. As children play with the scanner, their attention is redirected to having fun rather than worrying about the upcoming procedure.
When designers for CDH saw the potential to increase the overall experience for patients and parents, they made a bold decision to use the ambient concept as a main design element. A large interactive screen will be located in the lobby and before they have their procedure, patients can choose what scene they would like to have in their MRI, CT, or X-Ray rooms. For example, if someone chooses a beach scene, his or her procedure room will be transform in to a beach, complete with tropical fish, and audio sounds.
“This is a place where I would want my son or daughter to go. But it is also a place where I would feel comfortable sitting and waiting while the procedure is done. We wanted a patient to walk in the door and be met with positive distractions that reduce stress and help them to feel calmer. There is light and color everywhere. So, it is really quite magical from the entrance through the entire building.”
Editor’s note: Paulla Shetterly, RID, IIDA, LEED AP, is an associate principal and director of Interior Design at CDH Partners, Inc. She has been published in design journals and magazines and is also a noted speaker. She was recently published in the December 2013 issue of Church Executive Magazine.
By Paulla Shetterly
When done right, these areas motivate, encourage, teach — and even inspire kids to draw their parents to church.
While youth and children’s spaces in the church are designed to motivate, encourage and teach principles that last a lifetime, they also need to be fun environments where kids can be kids — and be inspired to invite others to join them.
When a designer has a heart for this type of work, he or she will seek to create places that capture the imagination of the children and the youth who use them. In fact, this needs to be a primary goal.
During the master planning process, a plan can change many times. But, one thing that needs to remain constant is the designer’s commitment to the church’s mission. Be very deliberate with this.
Then, when a vision for a particular youth ministry begins to take shape, the vision for the space will also become clear. Click here to continue reading.