Design & Construction

Children’s Spaces that Inspire Purpose

Children’s spaces are special in that they are highly creative. Those designs are most effective when they are tailored to the unique needs and mission of the church.

Cathy Hutchison  ·  April 4, 2016

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In keeping with this storybook world, the entryway arrival is designed to look like a Victorian-era train station, the children’s ministry large theater is an art deco design, and there is even a fire station—-along with a garage, attorneys’ offices and other town scape facades.

The play area looks like a city park, and the playscape has children crawl through a magical forest. “One of the interesting things was the use of color,” comments Gannon. “The interior uses over seventy different colors.” The vault ceiling is painted like the sky with programmed LED lighting changes which create looks from daylight to dusk.”

Another advantage to having a stand-alone building was the opportunity to develop an outdoor fellowship plaza that connects back to the existing worship building. The plaza features an outdoor baptistery at the center of the fellowship area and will eventually link to a new youth facility that is still on the drawing boards.

Central Baptist Church in College Station, Texas is a ninety-year-old church that continues to grow—especially in the demographic of young families. “As soon as the kids can start hearing about Jesus, we share age-appropriate Bible lessons. We constantly hear from families that their kids are coming home and sharing what they’ve learned in church,” offers Chuck Bestor, administrative pastor at Central Baptist.

“It used to be that parents brought their kids to church, but now we find that kids are bringing their friends and their friends are bringing their parents.” The new children’s building at Central Baptist Church currently on the design boards with GFF in Dallas, Texas will triple the size of the existing children’s facilities.

“This new design solves a lot of the problems of the existing space,” verifies Stephen Pickard, director of church works at GFF. “For one thing, the church has outgrown what they have, but this new design has allowed the children’s staff to rethink what was needed. The children’s spaces will be consolidated into a single area to improve access for parents and there will be a much more optimal mix of large group and small group environments. It will be much easier to operate.”

“At 76,000 sf, this is a really big project for us,” points out Bestor. “We’ve been impressed with how responsive the GFF team is to design with us. They have really good technology and listen to what we are asking for. Many times we’ve worked via video, moving doors and widening hallways.”

“This really is their design,” shares Pickard. “They understand their ministry and we have worked room by room to get them exactly what they want.”

GFF chose tilt-wall construction to allow the church to have a great deal of square footage within the budget. The church will spend about $1 million on theming—provided by Little Mountain Productions—which is focused on the gathering space, large group worship venues along with highlights throughout to animate the space.

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