A new venue near Six Flags over Georgia plans to combine family, food, fun, and fitness in a unique way. Funded by the World of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austell, Ga., the 112,000-square-foot EpiCenter will be operated by a separate nonprofit organization and will be open to anyone.
According to Rev. Christopher L. Boyd, executive pastor at World of Faith, the EpiCenter is being "built for the community, not for the church specifically." In a neighborhood that has experienced much crime, Boyd's goal is to create a safe place for young people to spend their time.
The facility, which is expected to open by January 2014, will include a 600-seat auditorium for plays and other productions, a six-lane bowling alley, a youth center with arcade and computer stations, recording and dance studios, a café, and a food court with three vendors. In addition to these amenities, the $30.7-million EpiCenter will have a state-of-the-art fitness center. It is the only part of the building that will require a membership, and according to World of Faith, the space will be larger than an LA Fitness, with rates comparable to a YMCA. The fitness center will consist of weight, aerobics, and cardio rooms as well as an elevated running track, rock climbing wall, and NCAA-sized basketball court.
Not only is the church striving to build up the community with the creation of the EpiCenter, but pride is being taken in lowering the environmental impact of the facility. Concrete and other building materials have been recycled from the demolished building that originally stood on the site (previously used as the temporary sanctuary for World of Faith). Other environmentally friendly features of the facility include energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient toilets, and native landscaping.
The Atlanta office of Gleeds USA is serving as program manager for EpiCenter at Word of Faith, and the structure was designed by Pieper O’Brien Herr Architects in Alpharetta, Ga.