The McKnight Group Announces Construction Completion| Dublin, OH

Press Release – Northwest Chapel

The McKnight Group has completed work at Northwest Chapel in Dublin, OH.  This project provided an interior remodel of the sanctuary including new flooring, new light fixtures, replacement of existing pew with new chairs, replacement of the portable section of the platform with a permanent section, creating a new check-in area for the children’s ministry, applying new drywall ceiling over the existing acoustic sprayed ceiling.  The foyer was updated with a new paint color /scheme and new signage placed.

Owner: Northwest Chapel, Dublin, 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



Getting Familiar with Church Design Schematics and Why You Need Them

Most of us have seen architectural drawings at some point. Perhaps you’ve worked with a builder on plans for your new home or seen proposed building schematics at a town hall meeting. The same process happens with any church design project. To better envision what’s possible with your new church building or the remodeling of an existing structure, you should develop at least three types of church design schematics.

Master Site Plan

This first type of schematic is a Master Site Plan. This shows a drone’s eye view of the end result of your church building project. This includes land use and restrictions based upon building and zoning codes, as well as relationships of spaces between each building. Parking lots, ball fields, and even a pond are all laid out on this master plan. You can see that different phases of building are clearly marked by different colors.

In this example, there are several labeled lines on this plan. Property lines are self-evident. Building setbacks are the distances from the property line where local zoning codes allow you to build. This church design is located on a new site, with plenty of property, so building setbacks are not much of a concern. However, if you’re in the city and you have very little property, setbacks can become a very large concern.

Church Design Floor Plan

Another type of schematic is the floor plan. Here, you get a sense of how the church building is laid out and where the different areas are located. You can see where all of the different ministries are going to be. The front of the church building (at the bottom) includes areas to welcome guests, such as the café and the foyer, as well as church offices that people might access during the week.

Nurseries are just outside of the centrally located multi-ministry worship center, which makes it easy for parents to step out and check on a very young child. Children’s classrooms and the youth multi-ministry center are located deeper in the building, making that area safer because no one else needs to go through that area to access other areas of the church building.

Church Building Perspective

Every good church design needs a detailed picture to help attendees understand what the new church building is going to look like. It helps to answer questions like, “Is it going to blend in with what we have, or is it going to be a bold new look?” It also helps everyone get a sense of how your church vision for ministry in the community is going to be lived out in this new church building.

The first three images are for new church building projects, but you will also need these types of church design schematics for a remodeling project. In this master plan for a remodeled church, the lighter peach color represents an existing school facility being converted into a church. The darker orange color represents the remodeled areas which will be converted into the foyer and worship center.

These church design schematics are shared with your congregation and denominational leaders. If you need financing, you’ll share them with lending institutions. You might also share them with community leaders if you need their support on your church building project. Once the schematics are complete, you’ll move on to the budgeting process, which we’ve discussed elsewhere.

In fact, we’ve discussed most aspects of the church building process with blog posts, including in our free i3 webinars. We are working on our 2022 webinar lineup, so stay tuned for more information.

2021-11-23T18:50:58+00:00 November 23rd, 2021|Church Building, Church Design|

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Completion | Powell, OH

Press Release – Grace Powell Church Remodel

The McKnight Group is wrapping up the multi-use sanctuary remodel at Grace Powell Church in Powell, OH.  Construction consisted of a partial demolition and remodel of the 5,254 square foot existing multi-use worship center, demolition and rebuild of the existing platform. This includes new ceilings, partitions, and finishes. This remodel is being done to improve the worship space and increases the church’s ability to reach out to the community through their vibrant sports ministry.

Owner: Grace Powell Church, Powell, 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



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



How Utility Planning Impacts Your Church Design

There are numerous steps that must be taken when working out your church design, whether you’re constructing a new church building from scratch or doing major church remodeling. We’ve previously written about both zoning and building codes. However, another element, one that can easily be overlooked, is utilities. They can have a significant impact on how your church vision gets translated into a workable church design.

Beginning with an Electricity Primer

First, let’s begin with electricity. It’s easy to think electric is electric, but the distribution of electricity is more complicated than that. There are two common types of electrical delivery here in the US: single-phase and three-phase power. Single-phase is the type of power that’s usually found in homes. Three-phase power is often needed for commercial and industrial facilities. It can accommodate heavier loads and great amounts of power.

If planning isn’t done to account for three-phase, instead of installing larger, more efficient HVAC systems to serve your entire church building, you might need to install a number of smaller HVAC systems for various parts of the building.

Addressing Gas, Water, and Sewer Availability for Your Church Building

Not all areas of the country have access to natural gas. This impacts which types of mechanical systems and kitchen furnishings you can install. It also impacts the amount of electricity you will need to cover all the systems in your church design.

Water can also be an issue. If you’re constructing a church building in the city, you likely can tap into the municipal water line. If you’re building out in the suburbs or rural areas, you might need to dig a well. Along the same lines, there might be a sewer line you can tap into, or you might need to install a septic system. In some cases, you may need more specialized systems such as a grinder pump and force main to carry sewage uphill to connect with an existing sewage line.

Counting the Cost of Your Church Design

All these options have costs, and counting the cost is an important element of good stewardship with your church design. If you’re fortunate, utility lines might already be laid all the way to the edge of where your church building will be. Otherwise, there will be expense associated with bringing utilities from the property line to your church building. There will also be costs to tap into each of those utilities.

If you need to dig wells and septic systems, there are also higher up-front costs associated with these options. In addition, if you’re constructing a large church building, those building codes might require that you install a fire suppression system. Wells generally can’t provide the necessary water pressure to feed these systems, so you will incur additional costs for generators, fire pumps, and holding tanks.

These are some of the specific elements that impact each aspect of your church design. It’s why you always want professionals to guide you in the transformation of your church vision into a workable church design. It’s also why we provide our free i3 webinars for church leaders like you. We will be rolling out our 2022 lineup of webinars soon.


2021-11-16T20:52:58+00:00 November 16th, 2021|Church Building, Church Design|

Making Sure a Good First Impression with Your Church Interior Design Lasts

Our blog series on making a good first impression with your church interior design has covered many elements in a church building, ranging from worship space to restrooms. When the design is done, there is still something that will help those great first impressions continue and that is maintaining your significant interior design investment.

Implement Your Church Interior Design Plan Thoughtfully

Once you’ve made the various important decisions about what you will do with walls, flooring, furnishings, and finishes, it’s time to bring the design to fruition. If you’re constructing a new church building, then your construction company will take care of ordering materials and scheduling the installations in the right order. If you’re working on a church remodeling project instead, one where church leaders might be responsible for some of the implementation, then it’s wise to think about the best order in which you want things to happen.

For example, you will most likely want to attend to all wall and ceiling work before you install any new flooring, to prevent any damage to your new flooring during wall painting or installation of stonework or metal accents. You also don’t want to have new furniture delivered until after the church interior design work is done unless you have plenty of safe and climate-controlled storage space for all those boxes.

Remember to Include Maintenance in Your Post-Installation Checklist

Once everything is installed in your church building, the work isn’t really over. A good first impression isn’t a constant, in the sense that floors will get scuffed, carpets spilled on, walls dinged, and furniture scratched over the course of time. For your church building to keep making a good first impression, you need to invest in proper maintenance of all these elements of your church interior design.

Good stewardship requires an investment in your church building, in the form of regular maintenance. Floors need polishing, walls need cleaning and sometimes touch-up paint, while furniture needs mending and sometimes refinishing, especially in youth and children’s areas.

Preserve That First Impression with a Church Building Maintenance Plan

Those are all reasons why we recommend that you have a church building maintenance plan. Especially if you don’t have a dedicated custodial staff, you will need to document proper maintenance for each element of your church interior design and create a plan for routine care to maintain that carefully thought-out good first impression. That way, everyone who participates in keeping your church building in good shape is aiming toward the same goals and maintaining that same church vision for ministry in your community.

All of these tips for making a good first impression were first shared with church leaders during one of our free i3 webinars. We hold these webinars regularly to keep you up to date on the latest and best practices for church design and construction of a new church building. We are currently putting the finishing touches on next year’s webinars, so stay tuned for a new list. Meanwhile, feel free to search our treasure trove of existing articles for ideas and innovations.

2021-11-09T21:07:43+00:00 November 9th, 2021|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Start | Strongsville United Methodist Church

Press Release – Strongsville United Methodist Church  

The McKnight Group has broken ground at Strongsville United Methodist Church in Strongsville, OH.  Construction will consist of a two-story addition of 15,385 square feet to the existing building that will include classrooms, restrooms, playland, foyer, offices and a drive under canopy.  This project will also consist of removing and relocating the existing stained glass from the front worship center window and rework existing opening for replacement light box window.  A remodel of the existing foyer, hospitality room, children’s foyer and children’s church multiuse space will also take place.

Owner: Strongsville United Methodist Church, Strongsville, 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

2021-11-08T19:53:28+00:00 November 8th, 2021|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design, Press Release, Worship Spaces|

Making a Good First Impression with Small Details in Church Design: Signage

Signs to read are everywhere today. We have traffic signs, safety signs, storefront signs, and all manner of other signs that help us orient ourselves in the world and figure out where we need to go next or what we need to do. The same is true in a church building. When guests arrive for the first time, they are looking for signs to help them orient themselves and figure out where they need to go. When it comes to making a good first impression with your church building, clear, bold signage can go a long way towards helping guests feel welcome and wanted.

Easily Identifying Locations in Your Church Design

As you can see in this photo from Bethany Wesleyan Church, signs can be clear and concise without distracting from the overall church design aesthetic. On the right, you can see that they’ve added a large “Women’s Restroom” sign over the entrance to that space, in addition to the smaller sign that’s required by code. This allows people to see the restroom location from across the room.

In both the Bethany Wesleyan photo and this one from Dayspring Church, you can see that each area is clearly labeled with title and function: Family Life Center, Children, Welcome Center, His Cup Café, Gymnasium. All these signs are high enough to be easily viewed, even if the space is filled with people. As a result, guests can easily navigate your church building without having to ask questions.

Imagine a Guest Wandering Around Your Church Building

Are you wondering what signs you might need to add to your church building? We can become so comfortable with our church design after a while that we are blind to the difficulties guests might encounter. One useful exercise is to walk around your church as if you were a guest who’s never been there before. Imagine what they see and where they might want to go. Could they easily find their way? Would they have to resort to guessing where the children’s center is or which door to use for worship? Where could some signage help people to navigate their way around more easily? Remember, the more you can help your guests navigate your church building through signage, the more comfortable they will become, and the quicker they will start to feel like they’re a part of your congregation and that they belong.

Good Signage Isn’t Just for Directions

Of course, signage isn’t just good for directions—although that’s very important! As you can see in this image from Bridgetown Church of Christ, they took the opportunity to remind everyone—guests and attendees alike—about their church vision for sharing Christ in their community. Opportunities like this to incorporate your vision and your ministry with your space can make for important visuals that people reconnect with every time they enter your church building.

Clearly, signs are extremely helpful elements to make people feel welcome in your church building, and especially useful in making a good first impression. They are also easy to incorporate into your church design, so take that “guest tour” and figure out where your signage could help everyone navigate your church building. We also encourage you to sign up for our next free i3 webinars, which can help you, as church leaders, to navigate the church building process. A new line-up for 2022 will be announced soon.

2021-11-02T20:07:19+00:00 November 2nd, 2021|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Start | Grove City Christian School

Press Release – Grove City Christian School

The McKnight Group has begun work at Grove City Christian School in Grove City, OH.  Construction will consist of an 8,370 sq. ft. addition to the existing Christian School which will be four (4) new classrooms, tutoring rooms, a band room, restrooms and a remodel of the existing band room into two (2) new classrooms. This new addition will allow the school to grow and enroll over 800 new students. The exterior of the band room will have the windows placed on a brick music staff represent the notes to Jesus loves me.

Owner: Grove City Christian School
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

2021-11-02T12:28:28+00:00 November 2nd, 2021|Church Addition, Church Building, Church Design, Press Release|

Furniture Design Decisions Support a Good First Impression for Your Church Building

There are many ways that your church design can make a good first impression on guests. We’ve covered obvious areas like lobbies, cafés, and worship spaces, but the small details matter too. Here’s a closer look at how the furniture in your church building helps make a good first impression.

Flexibility is Key in Your Church Design

We frequently stress the importance of flexibility in your church design. For example, multi-ministry spaces can support your church vision for ministry, but flexibility on a smaller scale matters too. For example, in this first photo from Archbold Church, you can see two seating areas for people to congregate, with four chairs around a center set of ottomans. These ottomans can be pulled apart to create additional seats, which makes it easy for a group of four to become a group of six or eight. If they had placed the traditional coffee tables in the center of each grouping, they wouldn’t have that flexibility.

Installing Attractive Table Options in Your Church Building Café

These next two photos are examples of how flexibility can be inviting in a church building café setting. For younger folks on the move, a higher table frequently feels inviting. Sometimes people can have a conversation without even sitting down—and in fact, some churches choose not to provide stools at all with smaller high-top tables. On the other hand, older or shorter people might appreciate having an opportunity to sit down at the standard height tables pictured here at the Archbold Café.

Another important element of flexibility comes with square and rectangular tables, which can be easily pulled together to accommodate a larger group of six or eight people, while not leaving anyone feeling left out or unable to easily place their beverage and snack on a table.

In this image from the Bethany Wesleyan café, there are high tables in the back and lower tables in the front, creating a pleasing visual scenario where all tables are easily visible, and friends can be quickly located. The metal chairs in this café were also intentionally chosen to fit in with their church vision for ministry in their community.

Creating a Living Room Feel in Your Church Building

In contrast with the sleek metallic look at Bethany Wesleyan, the church leaders at Berachah Baptist Church wanted to create a very homey feel for their café. To support the welcoming sense of having a comfortable space to hang out in, they included a living-room-style area off the café in their church design. This “extra” space is in keeping with their church vision of helping guests feel at home in their church building.

Notice that even the smallest details of church design can help create a good first impression for guests. In our next post, we will address another important smaller detail: signage. All these good tips come from our free i3 webinars, which we share each year to help church leaders like you to stay up to date with important church design considerations. Stay tuned for next year’s lineup and keep reading our blog for more helpful tips.

2021-10-26T22:57:26+00:00 October 26th, 2021|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|