- Renovation of building aesthetics
- Renovation of children’s ministry
space, including children’s classrooms, large group activity rooms, and
special needs ministry space
- New volunteer room
- New HVAC system
- Refreshing of lobby space
Parkview Community Church, nestled in the Western Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, is a large, growing church, especially known for its outstanding children’s ministry. The original space was built in the 1950s, and like any typical, older church building, it had been added onto, rearranged, renovated, and slowly updated throughout the years. Their most recent update was completed around 2010.
Unfortunately, this piecemeal approach created a severe disconnect between the facility’s look and functionality and the mission and vision of the church’s leadership team for Parkview. The disjointed lobby space, the well-worn children’s space, and the exterior image of the building didn’t tell the true story of the church’s heart to serve the people they were working so hard to reach.
“Parkview has an incredible kids’ ministry staff, but the old children’s space didn’t give them room for the leaders to exercise their gifts fully and create the kind of ministry impact they desired,” says Aspen Project Developer Greg Snider. “They valued quality space, and their old space just wasn’t working.”
Because the church’s original building was a conglomeration of multiple building projects, there was no core theme holding all the parts together, each piece being added as it was needed. One of the most recent projects included the addition of a firewall and fire doors, which, unfortunately, split the building into separate areas. Additionally, the exterior was opaque, uninviting, and an intimidating building for a first-time visitor to enter. The building was completely out of step with the warm, loving, and welcoming church staff that waited behind its doors. What that staff desired was flow, security, and aesthetics to match their ministries and values.
“We now realize that people hang out longer after services because people have space to linger in….”
Pastor Brian Coffey, Senior Pastor
Aspen and Parkview came to an agreement on the scope of the project, and a budget was set to cover a complete renovation of the building aesthetics and HVAC system, a total update to the children’s ministry area, a refreshed lobby, and a volunteer rest area.
By rearranging elements that already existed, Parkview was able to go from a church whose exterior and interior image did not align with their mission to a church brimming with life, full of possibilities, and whose ministries align with their image.
“Parkview is a perfect case study in spatial stewardship,” according to Snider. “It’s cheaper to convert old space versus building brand new. Parkview’s design is a prime example of adding usable square footage without adding any rooms. Every church should be asking, Can we do more with what we already have?”
The first step toward increasing flow, security, and aesthetics was to add interior and exterior glass. With windows on the inside, guests now can see wherever they want to go in the building, helping make the interior much less maze-like. New windows on the exterior walls makes the building more appealing, approachable, and welcoming from the outside.
While Parkview desired a larger lobby space than what they had, they opted to rearrange, reorder, and restructure the lobby space they already had in order to stay within budget. By simply rearranging the elements already being used by the church, the new lobby is now aligned with the mission, vision, and values of Parkview.
The one area that needed the most attention at Parkview was the children’s ministry space. During early conversations and on the initial tour, Greg Snider says, “The church identified young families as one of their target demographics. All their kids’ ministry space was from the 50’s and 60’s. Parkview knew who they were; they understood their DNA. Their space simply didn’t match their ministries.”
Each age group has its own classroom, like in most churches, however, the large group activity rooms and other learning areas are set up for collaborative learning, following today’s trend toward learning together.
Parkview invested funds from their building project to create a space for a special needs ministry. Though they didn’t yet have a special needs ministry running, they saw it as a potential need and built the space to house the ministry for possible future endeavors.
Another innovative addition to Parkview’s space is the Volunteer Room, specially designed as a respite space for volunteers. The room is a place for volunteers to lock up their belongings, sit and rest for a minute between responsibilities, or catch up with other volunteers. The high counter, chairs, and windows facing outside creates an oasis for harried volunteers who freely give their time, effort, and attention each week to help make the church run more smoothly.