When Your Community Changes: How One Rural Church Renovated in Response to Development
When Christ Community Church was originally built, Simpsonville, SC, where the church is located, was a rural setting. Today, Simpsonville is a rapidly developing suburb. Streets surrounding the church have become much more heavily travelled, and the increased noise from traffic was making it difficult to hear within the sanctuary during worship services.
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“The revision to the existing campus was necessary as the church congregation is growing and suburban development is overtaking the church’s previously rural settings,” said Brian Felder, Felder & Associates’ managing principal and lead architect in partnership with Aspen Group on this project. “Simpsonville, just east of Greenville, is a rapidly growing community and the streets around the church property are becoming heavily traveled, which meant the congregation needed to address the problem of traffic noise within the old worship space.”
Along with noise abatement, Christ Community Church also needed more seating in the sanctuary to accommodate its steadily growing attendance.
“The church is healthy and growing, which led to the need for expanded worship seating, all-important connecting space, and the need to accommodate growing staff in order to position the church for even greater Kingdom impact,” says Pat Kase, project developer for Aspen, who helped lead Christ Community Church through their building project.
To solve the sound and space issues facing Christ Community Church, Aspen and Felder & Associates partnered to design and build a new and expanded church building. The $2.8 million addition and renovation include a new 5,700 sq. ft worship facility that seats up to 420 people. The new sanctuary features a large platform, storage, new audio-visual capabilities, and new restrooms.
The old worship center was converted to “Third Place” space — a welcoming connecting space that includes a coffee bar and comfortable seating for casual gatherings, group meetings, dining, and fellowship. The church also added 1,320 sq. ft. of new office space for their growing staff.
The building features heavy timbers that protrude outside the structure, a design feature that adds to the aesthetic of the building and fits the look and feel of the community in which the church is located. The building itself is constructed of insulated concrete form — a choice made for its outstanding sound-dampening capabilities, high energy-saving capability, and improved ability to withstand high winds during storms.
Christ Community Church dedicated its new and expanded worship space with a two-hour evening program and service on September 8, 2019.