Grace Place was founded by Clay Peck, with a mission to reach out to the burned, bored and bypassed.' After renting various facilities for their first five years, they finally took the leap in purchasing their own space along main street in downtown Berthoud, Colorado.
New Campus Construction Design - Grace Place)
Project Size: 1-300 seats
Completion Date:October 4, 2015
But rather than becoming lost in the fabric and noise of the city center, Grace Place opened Trailhead Café as an outreach initiative and restaurant venue in front of its 300-seat auditorium. In addition, they acquired two adjacent buildings to host children and youth, serving to further embed the church into the downtown area. Unfortunately, however, space and parking restraints quickly became a burden, limiting Grace Place's potential influence.
In light of these challenges, Clay decided to purchase 19 acres of land at the city's new center of gravity— the U.S. Route 287 and Highway 56 interchange. But rather than planning a simple campus relocation,' Clay dreamt of a regional gathering place called Cross Creek Commons, a facility to be utilized by everyone in the area (not just those who belong to the faith-based community).
Cross Creek Commons was developed for $10 million, including the cost of the land. This expense was covered with the help of $4 million raised by the congregation, $1 million from selling their existing buildings, and a loan for the remaining $5 million. Grace Place has since seen an increase in attendance from 700 to nearly 1,800 people per weekend.
Phase 1 involved the construction of a 26,000-square-foot, 600-seat auditorium, a rooftop deck with a view overlooking the Rockies, the brand new Trailhead Café and bookstore, and a 9,000-square-foot children's area called The Outpost. This space is designed like a junior ranger training camp, featuring an indoor climbing structure and an outdoor play zone. Thematic elements also include canoes, historic trail maps, and etched glass' window graphics identifying each of the peaks in the incredible Rocky Mountain Front Range—pointing towards the majesty of creation and God's architecture.
In addition, those visiting Cross Creek Commons can enjoy a game of outdoor sand volleyball, or let loose in the designated play zones. On Sunday mornings, the covered rooftop deck and fireplace serves as a Court of the Gentiles,' catering to those who are not quite ready to attend a church service, but who'd still like to take in the amazing views while the music and sermon are broadcast through the speakers.
Once completed, Cross Creek Commons will also provide a 1,200-seat auditorium and event center, a youth facility, an outreach center for distributing food, clothing, and supplies, a greenhouse and community garden, fishing ponds and waterfalls, walking trails and prayer paths, and perhaps even a cause-oriented brewery.
Not only is Cross Creek Commons a viable destination serving the greater good, but it's getting back to the original intention of the churches formed centuries ago. This is truly a place where the entire community can gather together to feel welcomed, and to feel loved.