The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Glen Mar United Methodist Church, Ellicott City, Md.
Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, Staff Report
When Glen Mar United Methodist Church decided to expand to a new location — a 22-acre plot of land in Ellicott City, Md. — the church contacted Baltimore-based Design & Integration (DI) to create an AV system that would span several phases of planned growth. DI's major challenges involved providing great audio/video capabilities while remaining unobtrusive to the unique aesthetics of the building itself and keeping costs within the church's budget.
In 2003, representatives from Glen Mar attended DI's AV seminar for houses of worship, and when plans were finalized to start up the multiphase church expansion project, Glen Mar asked DI to design the project's AV system. DI's engineers worked with Glen Mar's project team to determine what the church's ideal AV system would include.
“We decided simplicity of use was a major requirement since we rely completely on volunteers with limited training,” says Jim Youkers, Glen Mar's audio technician. “Simplicity of use for both traditional and contemporary worship use with the ability for easy future expansion.”
In order to balance Glen Mar's vision with its budget constraints, the group decided to implement a combination of new equipment with legacy equipment the church already owned. After DI's AV design plan was approved, Glen Mar put the installation contract out for bid, and after reviewing several offers, the church decided to award the installation contract to DI with a final cost of just more than $250,000.
“This was an exciting project for us,” says Jake Rivera, president of DI. “We were on the project team early, went through the design phase under contract, and followed the project through till completion. As a result, the project had limited change orders, excellent team involvement, and therefore, I think, a better end product.”
DI has nearly a decade of experience planning and installing AV systems in houses of worship, but no former project presented as complex an interior architectural design to work with.
Alexander Design Studios of Ellicott City created the building plan for Glen Mar's expansion project: a 32,000-square-foot structure that provides room for up to 600 people, which is double the church's former capacity. The new facility includes a 6,000-square-foot multipurpose room complete with a stage and sound booth, a lobby area, nursery, community room, and a central media hub.
Glen Mar's vision for the multipurpose room included an area that could be used for sermons, stage productions, and athletic events. According to Phyllis Cook, project manager for Alexander Design Studios, the solution for this variety of uses was to use a number of building materials in the room — including a poured polyurethane athletic surface for the flooring; walls made of brick, concrete block, and drywall; and sloping drywall ceilings.
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