Prairie Street Mennonite Church and Architect/General Contractor Ancon Construction are excited to announce a building project has commenced at 1316 Prairie Street in Elkhart. The project will entail an extensive interior remodel and a building addition. “The project solution responds to the current and future ministry needs which Prairie Street Mennonite Church was trying to meet and achieve,” explains Ancon Designer Matthew VanSoest. The proposed building project accomplishes two main missions: improving the church’s ongoing ministry to current congregation members and extending outreach to the local community. The ministry solution perfectly dovetails the scope of work which includes: new ADA restrooms, improving the efficiency of circulation/seating/serving lines/aisle ways for church events, improved energy efficiency, improved daylighting, interior design upgrades, roof replacement, improved acoustics, and a building addition extending from the existing fellowship hall. In addition, a proposed patio adjacent to the fellowship expansion will allow events to be held outdoors, further strengthening connections to the exterior/nature and the surrounding residential neighborhood. “The proposed fellowship hall addition will act as a beacon to the surrounding neighborhood with large windows and patio access, creating both visual and physical connections between the interior and exterior,” VanSoest adds. “This solution responds to the church’s ministry intent by extending outreach to the local community.”
Another unique component of the project is a complete redesign of the main corridor which connects the fellowship hall to the sanctuary. The scope of work includes removing a 9’ tall ceiling and installing a new 48’ long Kalwall roof system. “The corridor, already a busy space for movement, will also be used as additional fellowship areas with movable kiosks. To open up this space to approximately 22’ tall and allow the stained glass windows of the existing church to be within the interior of the building will really create an inviting, naturally day lit space. Our team is very excited to see how this space will be transformed,” added VanSoest. Gerald Shenk, a building committee member, reflects on the committee’s experience thus far with Ancon and states: “Ancon has truly shown that they listen carefully before they start to design and build. We have had numerous sessions in planning together and each time they came back with a new version of the plan that captures what we were talking about. It is important when we are managing a complex process of decision making to know that we are all pulling in the same direction.” The project, overseen by Project Manager Doug VonGunten and Field Superintendent Steve Taylor, is anticipated to be complete in Mid-December.
About Ancon’s Church Design-Build process: Church specialists at Ancon form a Design-Build team who strives to listen and to understand a congregation’s unique ministry. We have found that no two churches are a like – so finding the appropriate solution to the current ministry needs or for the needs of the future must be strategically and thoughtfully examined. The team remains conscious by researching best practices – what issues congregations are facing and how they respond to those issues through building projects. It is our hope that by learning best practices in church-worship design, we provide a building and space to enable a congregation to reach and exceed their mission, vision, and purpose.