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Monroe Community Church Starts a New Chapter

Monroe Community Church Starts a New Chapter

When architect and church leader Steve Fridsma of Elevate Studio asked r.o.i. Design to collaborate on the interior design of their new church space, we knew from the start it was going to look more like an art gallery than a church. 

The project converted a former manufacturing warehouse space into a place of worship, learning, and love. Engaging a variety of people, Monroe Community Church had planning and design committees composed of church members, Elevate Studio, GDK Construction, and r.o.i. Design for the interiors. 

The entrance of the building opens into the Gallery, which is the largest space of the facility. It holds a prayer shelter, a café, lounge seating, and a play area just outside of the kid’s ministry rooms. It has maple plywood walls, open ceilings, concrete floors, and lots of light walls and windows.  

The Worship Space is open to the Gallery but in contrast to that room, is focused on a darker wall with theatrical lighting used during services and presentations. It has a calming presence. 

Kids areas use more color and the committee agreed to use graphic stripes in subtle ways to create interest and indicate different age groups. 

The project’s budget was challenging and while compromises were made, the outcome was not compromised. 

Monroe Community Church has a tradition of loving art and the urban community they serve. Their ministry is celebrated in part by their engagement with the city of Grand Rapids as being a venue for ArtPrize. In the fall of 2021, they opened their new facility, welcomed members and guests to their new space the same week that ArtPrize opened. The church, filled with art, met its design and community goals.

Hundreds of people will visit Monroe Community Church and get a glimpse of how they Love God, Love People, Love the City, and Love Art.  

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images.

Wellspring Church Reinvents Their Youth and Staff Spaces 

Wellspring Church Reinvents Their Youth and Staff Spaces 

Steve Fridsma, our friend at Elevate Studio, introduced us to Dan Bolkema, Executive Director, and Tanya Bolkema of Wellspring Church who was redesigning several spaces within their facility. They were looking for our help with interior finish selections, lighting design, and selections of furnishings for youth ministry areas and staff offices.

They have a strong young adult program, attracting visitors from regional colleges and their community is multi-generational with a large children’s program. This remodel was intended to create needed improvements to support these programs.

Dan’s background in the construction industry led to great insight into the feasibility and he offered the “can-do” spirit for creative details. His and Tanya’s interest and understanding of colors and materials made this a fun project for r.o.i. Design.

This vibrant destination community in Hudsonville Michigan has opened its doors carefully during COVID and the remodel was recently completed. r.o.i. Design was happy to supply a variety of contract furnishings to complete the look.

Click on thumbnails below to enlarge images:

Mars Hill Bible Church Reduces Its Footprint and Remodels Its Space

Mars Hill Bible Church Reduces Its Footprint and Remodels Its Space

Mars Hill and r.o.i. Design have a 15-year relationship and we have worked on a variety of remodels as their building needs have changed. 

In 2019, Mars Hill sold half of their building’s footprint to Grandville Public Schools, who were looking for space for their Early Education and After School Programs.  

r.o.i. Design engaged Dwayne Masselink and Matt Shoffner of InterActive Studio, who have also previously worked with Mars Hill, to partner on the design and architecture of the remodel. r.o.i. Design led the design team and supported Mars Hill in the process. Mars Hill interviewed four contractors and decided on Erhardt Construction to complete the remodel. 

Because of the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mars Hill project morphed many times. Budgets also impacted the phasing and scope of the work. Essentially, the scope of the project had to be divided into two phases.

The Phase 1 remodel included remodeling a mezzanine space for the church’s new offices, reconfiguring the middle school classrooms for preschool, reconfiguring preschool spaces for babies (nursery), and creating a complete separation from the Grandville Public School side of the building. 

The old offices were separated by a mall corridor and the updated design has all staff in the same space for the first time in many years. While there was not enough room to give everyone private offices, they agreed to all have cubicle offices with private hotel offices being available for project-based needs and studies.  

The mezzanine office remodel included new windows and views to the outside. They also created a large outdoor deck right off the lounge and break room area. The office includes a fireplace, several meeting spaces, a kitchen breakroom, and new restrooms.  

Details that we really appreciate in the new mezzanine office include the reuse of the cedar siding reclaimed from the first floor demolition, the fireplace, the lighting plan and light fixtures, the curved wall and benches outside of the reception area, and the thoughtful furnishings provided by West Michigan Office Interiors. 

Phase 1 also included adapting the buidling’s exterior to create a more appealing entrance for office staff and visitors. Phase 2 will include remodeling the elementary and preschool classrooms and the hallway areas.  

A huge shout-out to Ken Sanders at Mars Hill for his care and patience during the project and to Erhardt Construction for their flexibility. 

Click on thumbnails to view larger images.

Sun Rise Ministries Has a New Home

Sun Rise Ministries Has a New Home

Sun Rise Ministries now has its own facility after 14 years. They purchased the former Freedom Chapel in Jenison, MI. They engaged BCI Construction and TJA Architecture to remodel the facility. Having worked with both Doug Kooistra of BCI and Tim Allspach of TJA on other projects, it was great to join the team as the Interior Designers.

For Sun Rise, their commitment to help people Connect and Serve meant their new church home needed to be immediately “engaging”, welcoming visitors to participate.

It is amazing what some well-placed paint, carpet and graphics can do to a space. We integrated the acoustical panels in the worship area to create a wall design. We were also able to offer graphic design services, creating wall graphics and signage in the corridors. (A “shout-out” to our own Ryan Bright, graphic designer.)

Thank you to church leaders Bob and Penny for your direction and leadership. Blessings on your ministry’s new home!

Mars Hill Bible Church Updates Kids’ Ministry Areas

Mars Hill Bible Church Updates Kids’ Ministry Areas

New leadership, new energy and new direction at Mars Hill created a desire to update their facility’s 38,000 square feet children’s ministry. More than 500 children from infants through 10-year-olds attend the ministry each Sunday. Their nursery, preschool and elementary school spaces were in need of refreshing. This meant new flooring, new paint, updated lighting and new cabinetry, as well as any needed repairs.

The redesign was intended to simplify, warm and organize the spaces to help member families entrust their children to Mars Hill. r.o.i. Design saw the journey, discovery and comfort of the spaces as key to the success of the redesign. Mars Hill will also be adding their own graphic and signage design as well as decorative elements to complete the look and feel.

Mars Hill had a budget, based on generous donations and operational planning, but it wasn’t clear if they could make the needed changes within their budget or schedule. r.o.i Design worked with the leadership to solicit contractors who were members or affiliates of Mars Hill, as well as call in other sympathetic trades to make the remodel possible to meet the goals.

We acknowledge the efforts and donations of:

  • Facilities and Administrative staff of Mars Hill
  • Jacobsen Painting
  • Kenowa Plumbing
  • Meekhof Electric
  • Floor Covering Engineers and Shaw Carpets
  • Pinnacle Construction

Over 10 years ago, r.o.i. Design worked with Mars Hill to create interiors in their new space, a vacant shopping mall in Grandville, Michigan. We are grateful for the opportunity to help them again, not only with interior design, but project management of the remodel as well.

For more information about Mars Hill, visit their website, MarsHill.org

Working with Non-Profits and the Role of Philanthropy in Design

Working with Non-Profits and the Role of Philanthropy in Design

Schools, churches, foundations and other non-profit organizations need design as much as ‘for profit’ companies. But there is a difference:

  • Non-profits are making legacy decisions; what they do in their organization has an impact beyond current staff tenure.
  • They typically have to raise funds for a project alongside designing the project.
  • The process in design and project management is slighting more “hands on”.
  • And it always involves processing information with a larger group of people, i.e. a committee and volunteers.

Colossian Forum 11

We worked with non profit Colossian Forum to design their new offices.

r.o.i. Design has experienced some methods and processes that are very helpful when working with non-profit organizations.

1. Helping the customer “see” designs

Most of the time the representatives of an organization are not experienced in developing designs, planning buildings or remodeling. Their only frame of reference might be their own home improvements. That means it is important to use as many visual tools as possible to describe designs and process; tours of other facilities, photos of other facilities and renderings of concepts prior to hard lining a design.

2. Managing expectations

All jobs start with the budget, but in these cases it is even more critical.  Design professionals have to understand the resources available before designing begins.

The organization needs to understand the included steps to design. Laying out an overall schedule is helpful as well as establishing a habit of creating meeting minutes.

Technology is making sharing files much easier so information can be updated in real time.

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Cafe at Life Stream Church in Allendale, MI

3. Advocacy

It is not uncommon for design professionals to act as facilitators and advocates for their clients as the design is priced and bids start coming in. Being able to maintain design intent and still meet budgets is crucial. A group of people from the organization was charged with executing work and have shared their excitement and ideas with the broader group. Being able to help them “deliver” on that promise is part of the job.

4. Philanthropy

Building trust between the organization and the design team is a necessary element to working with non-profits. That may require some above and beyond involvement or participation in their activities.

Demonstrating an understanding of giving and how it furthers the mission of the organization establishes a common ground. A building or remodeling project is an opportunity to get people involved and teach others the lessons of philanthropy.

r.o.i. Design has had several non-profits as customers, including Grand Valley State University, Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, Spring Hill Camp, Colossian Forum, Grandvue Medical Care Facility, Theological Book Network and Wesleyan Conference West Michigan.
 
We have been pleased to work for several churches, including Life Stream (Allendale, MI), Crossroads Wesleyan (Imperial, Nebraska), Kentwood Community (Wyoming, MI), Hope Reformed (Holland, MI) and Sonrise (Ft. Wayne, IN).