Granger Community Church – Elkhart Partners with DJ to Renovate Church
ELKHART – November 11, 2014—When Granger Community Church opened a campus at the former St. John’s United Church of Christ on Bristol Street in Elkhart, leaders brought a ministry vision of caring for its attendees.
They also brought a vision for updating its facility so their attendees would want to spend time together rather than just coming to church and then leaving.
The church, DJ Construction Company, and Helman Sechrist Architects put their heads together. They came up with a plan that would honor the church’s 122 year-old footprint while also providing a modern feel for minimal cost.
The challenge, according to Gene Troyer, Granger Community Church Elkhart Campus Pastor, was to turn “an old, tired fellowship hall into a warm, modern, ‘stay awhile’ space” as well as change “a very traditional exterior façade into a blend of modern and ancient architecture.”
That project that consisted of exterior upgrades and modernization of the church’s atrium area is now complete.
The exterior renovations were a challenge to modernize without tearing out some of the building and starting from scratch, according to Adam Tohulka, DJ Construction’s pre-construction manager.
“The goal was to build some newer aspects into the design but still keep the basic structure intact,” he said. “We replaced the front entrance railings, filled in the gables, and added paint. We also painted the steeple.”
The 1,975 sq. ft. renovation of the church’s interior atrium also has been updated. What was once a large open area now feels more intimate with seating situated in smaller clusters. Overhead are drywall “clouds” with lights, and over the coffee area stands a pergola suspended from the ceiling.
Other updates include wall build-outs textured with stone; floor tiling that looks like distressed wood; and fresh paint in contemporary colors.
Said Tohulka, “This project has been a great collaboration of ideas. The end result is a very nice, inviting transformation for the Elkhart campus.”