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  Grace Church, Page 26Grace Church
Myler Church Building Systems
970 N. Englewood Drive, Crawfordsville, IN 47933

Des Moines, Iowa
Total Square Feet: 29,296
Construction Period: Apr 2000 to Sep 2001

Construction Team
Construction Manager / Structural Engineer: Myler Church Building Systems - 970 N. Englewood Drive, Crawfordsville, IN 47933
Civil Engineer: Leo Pelds Engineering Company - 1372 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50316
Electrical Engineer: Nikkel & Associates, Inc. - 728 E. Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50010
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: ACI Mechanical, Inc. - 3116 S. Duff Avenue, Ames, IA 50010

In the fall of 1997, the leadership of Grace Church in Des Moines, Iowa contracted with Myler Church Building Systems to design and build a new Worship area at their current location. When the Design Team met with Pastor Nelms and the building committee to start the design process, there was still a corn crop yet to be harvested where the new Sanctuary was to be located. The Church representatives expressed their vision to designers. They wanted to seat 1,200 to 1,500 people in this new facility. They wanted clear sight lines with no obstructions. Balcony seating would be considered. Expandability was seen to be a key element. So was flexibility, since more administration and classroom space were being thought of as a future phase. Since “Grace” was the message that the Pastor was sharing with his congregation, a bright, wide open space with lots of windows, simple but elegant; were thought to be key design elements. 

Myler Church Building Systems returned with options for the building committee’s review. The committee settled upon the “fan shape” building option. In this option rooms at the rear of the Worship area would be temporary classrooms until such time as the seating expansion needed to take place, and a choir practice area would be behind the pulpit area with future balcony seating.

Further refinement of the design was completed while the Church and Myler began working with officials from the City of Des Moines on a number of issues like the annexation of Church property into the city limits and the granting of a variance on the building height. Storm water drainage requirements and the supply of fresh water to the property were other issues that had to be worked out. While all these details were being worked out, the Church was working on the financial details necessary to fund the project.

It was early in 2000 before all of the issues were finalized and building permits were granted. The most outstanding feature of the new addition was obviously the Worship area. Additional changes were made to the Worship area to further create an open, spacious area that the building committee hoped. Loge and balcony seating were deleted, as well as the temporary rooms to the rear of the Sanctuary. The entire area was opened up for seating on one main level. 

The building exterior features the traditional look of brick, split-faced block, and arched windows combined with the contemporary styling of synthetic stucco applied in a variety of shapes and levels. The west elevation consisted of three tall, slender, arch-topped windows (giving natural light to the spacious Choir Room), above which sits a large conventionally built cupola and a very tall steeple. This created a landmark for the surrounding community and made a bold statement of faith in a higher power. Between the new Sanctuary and the existing building, a voluminous foyer was constructed as a gathering space for Church members before and after the service. 

Entrance to and exit from the facility was aided by the inclusion of two formal entries on opposite sides of the building, joined by a connecting hallway adjacent to the Sanctuary. The subtle variations of blue used throughout the facility created a smooth transition from one area to another and a very inviting atmosphere for everyone. Two multi-purpose areas to be used for classrooms, counseling, or meetings were constructed next to the Worship area.

Construction was completed in September 2001 and the membership of Grace Church revels in their newly dedicated Worship area.

DIV 07: Metal Roofing: Una-Clad® by Copper Sales.
DIV 08: Hollow Metal Doors & Frames: Steelcraft; Wood Doors: Algoma; Aluminum Entries, Storefront: Vistawall.
DIV 10: Steeple and Baptistry: Fiberglass Specialties
DIV 16: Lighting: Lithonia, Visa.

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