Children’s Spaces

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Start | Rockford, OH

Press Release – New Horizons Community Church

The McKnight Group has started construction at New Horizons Community Church in Rockford, OH.  Construction will consist of an addition to the existing church building of 9,692 square feet containing Classrooms, Offices, Restrooms, a Children’s Church and a kitchen expansion.  These spaces will support children’s ministries, as well as childcare and education offerings to help Rockford and the surrounding area.

Owner: New Horizons Community Church, Rockford, OH
Design/Build Firm: The McKnight Group, Grove City, OH
General Contractor: McKnight Development Corp., Grove City, OH
Architect/Designer: McKnight & Hosterman Architects, Inc., Grove City, OH



More Examples of Church Building Trends: Indoor Play Areas

In this post, we continue to use photos of our church design and building projects to highlight recent church building trends. This time, we look at one that has stood the test of time, perhaps in part because it connects with other church design trends that we have already discussed.

The Enduring Popularity of Indoor Play Areas in Church Design

Indoor playlands first became a popular addition to many a church design back in the 1990s. Some church leaders—and even some of our church building leadership here at The McKnight Group—thought that this would be a passing fad. However, we are still incorporating a lot of children’s playlands into our church designs. Certainly families with children love a church that includes a place where kids can run around with each other and have a good laugh. We think this enduring popularity might also be because of the connection between indoor play areas and third place design. When parents know there’s a safe, indoor play area in the community, they are very likely to make use of it, especially in bad weather.

Examples of Church Building Trends in Playlands

This first photo is of the indoor play area at Westerville Christian Church in Westerville, Ohio. This play space may look large, but it’s actually a relatively small playland. In this case, size doesn’t matter that much. The church gets an unbelievable amount of traffic here—as many as two thousand people came through this space in the first year after it was completed. Part of the reason it’s so popular is that the church rents it out on weekends for children’s birthday parties. This means that families all through the community bring their children to this playland—and come to think of the church as a warm and welcoming place.

This second photo is of a playland we built in Overland Park, Kansas. It is a much larger playland that’s clearly designed with a farmland theme. The space is bright and has a couple of unique features, including a giant tree to climb and multi-use spaces inside the “barn” doors that can be utilized for classes, art projects, or ice cream and cake time for children’s birthday parties.

Play Areas can Support Third Place Church Design Vision for Ministry

Birthday parties are not the only reason that children visit indoor play areas. The principle behind third place church design is that people want a third place to hang out besides home and work or school.  Gateway Church of the Nazarene, Oskaloosa, IA has provided that with its indoor playland. The church did it by simply putting the playland next to a café (another of those church building trends) in its church design. This playland and café are open during the week, so that kids have a place to play while their parents can have coffee and conversation in the adjacent café.

As you can see, many church building trends are interconnected. Because all we do is we design and build churches, we can see these connections and help you think through them when you’re planning a new church building or the remodeling of an existing church design. To keep up with all the latest church building trends, sign up today for our free i3 webinars.

2018-08-28T17:09:21+00:00 August 28th, 2018|Children's Spaces, Church Building, Church Design|

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Completion | Lakeside Park, KY

PRESS RELEASE: Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside, KY 

The McKnight Group has completed the remodel at Immanuel United Methodist Church in Lakeside, KY.  The remodel project consisted of nine classrooms, an office, and restrooms.  A facelift for the lower level children’s classrooms using a fresh coat of paint, new LED lighting, new flooring, a new check-in counter with a tube in counter for kids to enter through and graphic wall images.  Also, a fresh new look for the hallway and the multiuse room with a new platform and storage.  McKnight created the booth for control of the audio, video and lighting, and an environmental projection was added for the multiuse room.  New carpet, blackout blinds, a fresh coat of paint, and new flooring throughout this remodel.








Owner: Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside, KY
Design/Build Firm: The McKnight Group, Grove City, OH
General Contractor: McKnight Development Corp., Grove City, OH
Architect/Designer: McKnight & Hosterman Architects, Inc., Grove City, OH

2017-11-10T20:13:28+00:00 November 10th, 2017|Children's Spaces, Press Release, Remodeling|

Project Completion: Church of the Savior

The McKnight Group Announces Completion of Remodel in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Church of the Savior partnered with The McKnight Group to take steps toward a grand vision.  This process began with Phase I which was completed in 2012.

The McKnight Group has now completed Phase II at the Church of the Savior in Nicholasville, KY.  The scope of work includes a 23,133 SF building addition. Features included a 750 seat worship center, platform, lobby, café, nursery pod with six classrooms, restrooms and an audio – video booth.  Also, included is the basement of 4,565 SF and a mezzanine level of 1,100 SF. The new space ties into their original building and the previous addition The McKnight Group designed and constructed in 2012. 

Addition: 23,133 SF
Construction Completion: June 2017

Owner: Church of the Savior, Nicholasville, KY
Design/Build Firm: The McKnight Group, Grove City, OH

Fun Church Children’s Interior Themes on a Variety of Budgets

You can tell right away when you walk into a place that children are going to enjoy. Whether it’s a child-friendly restaurant or great church children space, you know kids will be drawn in by the bright, colorful décor and interesting, child-friendly themes. In this post, we’ll show you some ways to create fun and fabulous church children’s interiors that use themes to excite both children and their parents.

Plan Ahead

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of planning ahead of time when you’re considering a church remodeling project or new church building. Doing so allows you to build your theme into every element of the children’s spaces.

Paving the Way for Children

Children Theme 1As you can see in this picture, a roadway was created that leads children into their worship space. This type of theme works well for church remodeling jobs on a budget. The sky and grass are simply paint, which is not expensive. And the road signs and barriers are easy to obtain, plus they don’t need to be customized in any way to get the message across.

But we have paid attention to the content of these signs: Children are going to see the “school crossing” sign and recognize that this means they’re going to be learning something here at church. Parents will recognize these signs and receive the message that you care about their children and their education.

Giving Church Children’s Interiors a Fun Vibe

Children Theme 2In this second picture, you can see extra steps have been taken to make a large, open space more inviting for older kids. This worship space is called the “garage,” which is going to be a fun place to hang out.

A brick vinyl wall covering on the back wall makes that “garage” statement loud and clear. The added expense of vinyl is offset by paint on the other walls. Plus, we’ve intentionally created a graphic look that helps the ceiling feel lower and makes the walls more interesting than what you would get with just a single color.

Fabulous Options for a Higher-Budget Church Remodeling Project

If your church can invest more in your children’s interiors, you can consider customized full wall graphics like the theme pictured here, using a floor to ceiling design on vinyl.

Children Theme 3In this situation, the theme planning took into account the locations of the classroom doors and incorporated them into the design. Extra lighting was also added to take full advantage of the design investment.

No matter what theme you choose, the full-wall approach provides a strong, dramatic effect. It’s pretty much impossible for children—and parents—not to be drawn in by such a hallway.

Addressing the Question of Changing Themes

When it comes to making an investment in themed children’s spaces, we are frequently asked: How do you keep your children’s spaces fresh and exciting? How often will you need to change themes?

While we as adults might see the same theme, year after year, children will be growing up and moving into new areas of your church’s interior spaces. The younger children who take their place will find those themes exciting because they will be new to them.

Find Out More

Whether you’re first considering the question of a church remodeling project or are already in the midst of constructing a major new church building, we have ideas and solutions that can help. This is why we created our free i3 webinar series. Visit our website and sign up today.

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Church Children’s Spaces

One area we recommend our church building clients give special attention to is what’s going on under their feet. The right flooring choices are very important—especially when it comes to church children’s spaces. This is because a lot of children will spend time on the floor of those areas, and what they touch matters.

In this post, we present some flooring options for the children’s interiors of your church remodeling or building project.

Counting on Quality

The quality of your flooring materials matters. Church buildings require commercial-grade flooring by code. Even with commercial flooring, be aware that some options are more durable than others.

You also need to consider the maintenance that will be involved in keeping the floors of your children’s spaces clean.

In addition, make certain that the flooring comes with a good warranty to protect your investment if trouble arises.

Carpet Options for Church Children’s Spaces

Carpet is a popular option for church children’s interiors because young children are likely to be more comfortable on carpeted floors.

Carpet OptionsYou have two options with commercial carpet: broadloom and carpet tile. Broadloom (pictured, on right) is the more traditional option and is typically a 12’-0” wide roll. Carpet tile (pictured, on left) is available in a variety of sizes – 18” or 24” square, 18”x36”, and even hexagons. Carpet tile makes it easy to add a splash of color too, as you can see here.

From a practical standpoint, stains and damage are more likely to occur in church children’s spaces. Carpet tiles can be easily replaced if one is damaged, making them an increasingly popular choice for children’s spaces when one’s budget allows.

Understanding VCT, LVT, and Sheet Vinyl

Other flooring options to consider in children’s spaces are hard surface varieties.  Hard surface flooring is often used around sinks and counters in children’s classrooms, in part of the room, or even the entire room for crafts and snacks because it’s easy to clean up.

VCTVinyl composition tile (VCT) is your least expensive flooring option and comes in a wide variety of colors, but it requires regular maintenance (stripping and waxing), which means that in the long term it could prove just as expensive.

LVTLuxury vinyl tile (LVT) is a newer product that has become increasingly popular in recent years. As you can see here, these tiles come in a number of shapes and patterns to create a wide variety of looks, from a warm wood look to cool water or even bright green grass. LVT is lower maintenance, because it doesn’t have to be stripped and waxed, but it is a softer product that can be scratched or scuffed.

Sheet vinyl is a rolled product that can have a seamless look. It comes in fewer colors than VCT and is softer, like LVT, yet also requires less maintenance.

Regardless of which flooring option you choose, you will want to coordinate the colors of your flooring with the theme of your church children’s spaces. An integrated look in your children’s interior will demonstrate to parents that you care about their kids.

Discover More Church Remodeling and Building Tips

Whether you’re looking to complete a church remodel or construct an entirely new church building, consider your children’s ministry needs when selecting. Learn more at our website, and while you’re there sign up for our free i3 webinar series for important tips for your church remodeling or building project.

2017-04-04T11:44:55+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Children's Spaces, Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

Wall Color Makes for Stand Out and Inviting Church Building Children Spaces

Every church building needs appropriate children’s spaces, but sometimes it’s difficult to know the best way to create a welcoming place for children on a limited budget.

This is why we recommend color. Color offers an easy way to make these spaces in your church building stand out—yet it doesn’t have to be expensive.

When it comes to upgrading children’s spaces, you can use color in many ways, even on floors and furniture, but choosing bright, colorful paint for the walls offers an attractive and inexpensive first step toward making your children’s spaces stand out.

Color Adds Drama to Children’s Spaces

Children_Color1As you can see in this first picture, blocks of bright color add drama to this space for younger children. Each wall is painted in a different, vibrant color. This makes it easy to see which area of your church building belongs to the children and also coordinates easily with the brightly colored chairs and partitions.

The overall impression is cheery and welcoming for children, but it didn’t require a second round of church financing in order to create the desired effect.

Paint Speaks the Language of Youth

Children_Color2Color also adds drama to spaces for older children, although here you can see that we chose not to use bright primary colors. Instead, the “cool” colors and varying stripes let youth know that they’re no longer stuck in the children’s wing.

The great news is that this paint job also isn’t expensive—all you have to do is tape off sections of the wall, then paint with a contrasting color to obtain this bold effect.

You can even involve the youth in the paint job, which gives them ownership of their space and reduces the labor cost line when it comes to church financing.

Color Defines the Children’s Wing of Your Church Building

Children_Color3This picture shows the entrance area to the children’s wing of a church building. You can see that we’ve used paint to define the space, but it’s not as overwhelming as it might be in a space dedicated to younger children.

These colors speak to every age range, with the brighter, fuller blocks of paint reserved for the younger children’s area, as you can see on the purple wall at the end of the corridor. Again, this is a relatively inexpensive way to designate the children’s wing in your church building.

Adding Thematic Additions to Your Color Blocks

Children_Color4If your church financing plan allows it, you can also build upon those basic blocks of color by adding themes to your children’s spaces. The wall graphics you see here are added on top of the basic paint job, creating a playful outdoor space—indoors. Dollars are easily stretched by choosing just a few large graphics, such as the tree and the child, and sprinkling in a few bird graphics to fill out the wall space.

You can also see in the same photo that we’ve chosen a wood-look vinyl flooring which fits in well with the theme (We’ll cover more on children’s space flooring in a future post!), and even added some color to the ceiling, helping to tie the entire space together without adding a lot to the church’s budget. Props are another possibility, as you can see with the colorful, patterned awnings installed above each classroom.

Learn More About Church Financing and Design

Since we’ve been constructing church buildings for over 40 years, we’ve learned a lot about how to make children’s spaces pop without breaking the budget. To learn more about getting the most out of your church building project, visit our website, where you can sign up for our i3 webinars—absolutely free.

2017-03-28T10:48:37+00:00 March 28th, 2017|Children's Spaces, Church Design, Remodeling, Uncategorized|

Looking to Expand Your Church Children’s Spaces to Include Child Care and Preschool?

Preschool_ChildMany churches are looking to expand their children’s ministry to include daycare and preschool programs. It may seem an easy leap to turn children church space into facilities for daycare and preschool, but different state requirements have to be considered. In this post, we want to clearly outline these differences so that, if you’re looking to include child care or preschool in your church remodel or new building project, you won’t find yourself limited by the decisions you’ve made.

Moving Beyond Code Requirements

All building codes must be met when childcare or preschool programs are offered. We’ve discussed aspects of building code requirements in a prior blog post. Be aware that these codes cover everything from the number of bathroom fixtures to whether you must have classroom doors that lead directly outside the building. So, if your church remodel plan includes turning an old basement into a child care space for children less than 3 years old, it is not a practical proposition.

Expanding Your Church Children’s Spaces to Accommodate Child Care

In addition to code requirements, states have specific ratios for how many children you can have for each adult caregiver. For example, with newborns from 0-12 months, some states say you must have one teacher for every five kids. As children grow, that number increases. So, for example, if you want to have a preschool program with children ages 30 months-3 years, the ratio is one teacher for every eight children. With 4-5-year-old children, you can have one teacher for every 14 kids.

These ratios are important when it comes to budgeting. Say you have an existing Sunday church children’s space that you want to use for 4-5-year-old daycare during the week. One teacher on Sunday might be able to handle18 kids, but the state regulations say you must add a second teacher if you’re going to have 18 kids for child care. This means you need to budget paying two teachers instead of one for the daycare in that room.

Room size is another factor. If you’re designing a new church building or wing from scratch, it’s easy to make sure the classrooms are sized correctly—either for 14 kids and one teacher, or more than 14 with two teachers. But if you’re planning a church remodel, you might find that you’re limited in the number of children you can have in your preschool or daycare program because of available classroom sizes.

Thinking Beyond the Classrooms Themselves

There are other spaces you will need to consider if you’re looking to run a daycare or preschool. Most states require 50-60 square feet of outdoor playground area for these programs. This doesn’t mean 50-60 square feet per child enrolled, but rather 50-60 square feet per child on the playground at the same time. Elementary schools stagger recess times for different classes, and you certainly can too!

Another thing to keep in mind is that child care and preschool programs are rated by the various special programs that they offer. If you want your program to receive a higher rating, consider adding a special art room or computer lab to your church children’s spaces in your church remodel or new building design.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider if you’re looking to incorporate daycare and preschool programs into your church children’s spaces. The best way to learn more about these spaces and other types of church remodel or new building projects is through our free i3 webinar series. Sign up today.

2017-03-21T11:33:25+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Children's Spaces, Church Design, Remodeling, Uncategorized|

Planning Indoor Church Children’s Spaces into Your Building Project

Healthy relationships with Christ are formed at an early age. The more ways children enjoy their time at church, the more opportunity they have to learn about God and the stronger that relationship can be. This means special planning is in order to ensure that your church building or renovation project includes effective children’s spaces in its design.

Let’s take a closer look at options and factors you should consider when designing indoor play areas for your church.

Choosing the Right Equipment for Effective Church Children’s Spaces

Play_Area_1A well-designed indoor play area is essential. The first question to consider is whether you want the play equipment to be fixed or movable. Movable equipment allows you to easily reconfigure your church children’s spaces to meet multiple needs. It also means you can put the play equipment in storage at certain times. This option is particularly useful with younger children’s play areas, which are smaller and easier to store.

More permanent play areas, like the one pictured above, allow you to install fixed play equipment similar to those found at fast food restaurant chains. In addition to creating single-use church’s children’s spaces, this fixed equipment will require more maintenance since it needs to be regularly cleaned, inside more than out. You also should decide how many children will be using each play area at a time, because the space needed and equipment cost can vary greatly, depending on that number.

Thinking Beyond Play

In addition to play equipment, you need to think about a handful of other important elements in your indoor church children’s spaces. First are restrooms, which if included within the play area itself, can keep children safe by eliminating the need for them to go to the foyer or another building.

Play_Area_2The second important element can be seen in the front of this picture. Smaller children will almost always want to join the older ones on the play equipment, but if that happens there’s a risk that they’ll get hurt by the older children. This toddler play area is surrounded by a half-wall that prevents toddlers from wandering into danger, while still giving them their own play territory within your indoor church children’s spaces.

Another important element is providing a sitting space for adults while children are using the play area. In the back of this picture, you can see some tables with chairs. This allows adults to remain comfortably nearby and discourages the children’s play area from being treated as a daycare, where parents bring their children to play while they leave for a meeting.

Effective Church Children’s Spaces Work for Everyone

These tables and chairs can also be useful if the play area is to be opened to the community for birthday parties or other events. As we’ve said before, this is a great way to bring people into your church. If you have a specified space adjacent to the indoor play area, like a multi-use Sunday school room, children can open gifts and have cake there, then come into the play area—in any weather—to burn off some of that sugar and excitement.

A great way to attract older children is to install games, such as Nintendo and foosball. A play area that appeals to children of many ages is a good way to keep all children safely in the church.

All of these indoor play area ideas are discussed in our free i3 webinar series. To learn more about planning effective church buildings that meet the needs of all ages, click the link on our home page and sign up today.

Don’t Forget about the Children in Your Church Remodel Project

Psychologists tell us that kids’ moral foundations are in place by their ninth birthday. This is a good reason for church leaders to include children and their needs in the plans for a church remodel project. Beyond that, having well-designed children’s spaces makes time spent at church easier for parents and more rewarding for children.

In this post, we’ll review some of the highlights from our free i3 webinar about which important aspects to consider when creating children’s spaces.

Let the Little Children be Safe

Check-InSafety is a key consideration when creating children’s spaces. Therefore, we pay special attention when including security features in a church remodel. A security check-in desk allows parents to confidently drop their kids off in a designated children’s area. You can have a single desk in a central location that is well-secured, or a check-in desk by each classroom or group of classrooms, depending on the size and layout of your children’s area.

Here are some other safety features you might want to include in your children’s areas:

  • Integrated computer systems for automatic tracking when parents check their children in and out of their classrooms.
  • One-way glass which allows parents and church leaders to watch what’s happening in each classroom without distracting the children while they learn and play.
  • “Dutch doors” that allow the top part to open while the bottom stays closed—preventing little ones from leaving the classroom when the teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere. (Note that building codes allow Dutch doors only in a building with an automatic fire suppression system.)

Let the Little Children have the Space They Need

NurseryNaturally, you will need to consider the specific needs of various age groups in your church remodel plan. Nurseries typically need 25-30 square feet per child. Given that you also need changing areas, a sink, and countertops, we suggest planning each nursery for at least 15 children. (You may want to limit the number of nursery rooms because it’s harder to repurpose these classrooms if your age distribution changes as your church grows.)

You also want to think about adult needs when you plan the design of your children’s spaces. We suggest connecting a restroom to the nursery so that adult caregivers can remain close to their charges. Caregivers will need closets and cabinets for supplies, and a laundry and dishwasher room for cleaning bedding and toys.

If there’s room for it in your church remodel, we also suggest including a dedicated room for nursing mothers. This room should have closed-circuit broadcast or intercom from the worship space so nursing mothers don’t have to miss out on the sermon.

Let the Little Children Grow with Your Church Remodel

Elementary school-aged children have similar needs in their children’s spaces. Craft projects mean you still need sinks and countertops, but now some of them need to be the right height for little children. Cabinets and closets are critical to keeping supplies and dangerous objects away from curious little fingers. This age group requires less square footage per child (we recommend 20-25). Group restrooms are now appropriate, but they should still be located close by, and certainly within the secure zone you’ve created in your church remodel design.

Research shows that a person is most receptive to starting their relationship with Christ when they are a child.  This is why we believe effective children’s spaces should be a consideration in every church remodel and building plan. To learn more, sign up today for our free i3 webinar series, or give us a call at 800-625-6448 to talk about your own church’s needs for children’s spaces.