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  Clemson First Baptist Church


Neal Prince Architects
110 West North Street, #300, Greenville, SC 29601

General Description

Location: Clemson, South Carolina
Date Bid: Jan 2006*
Construction Period: Jan 2006 to Oct 2007
Total Square Feet: 31,509 Site: 1.7 acres.
Number of Buildings: One. 
Building Size: First floor, 18,205; second floor, 13,304; total, 31,509 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 14’; second floor 14’ – 24’; total, 38’.
Basic Construction Type: New/renovation.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, slab-on-grade. 
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick. Roof: Asphalt shingles, membrane. 
Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall, CMU.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: CMC Cary Engineering - 534 Old Howell Road, #100, Greenville, SC 29615
General Contractor: SYS Constructors, Inc. - 20 Brozzini Court, Greenville, SC 29615
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: M.E. & P. Inc. Engineering - P.O. Drawer 769, Campobello, SC 29322

Clemson First Baptist Church

The project scope for the Clemson First Baptist Church included a new family life center, a new foyer and courtyard for the existing sanctuary, a basement renovation for the youth, and a new covered walkway and drop-off system. All components needed to be designed to blend seamlessly with each other and fit within the context of the existing sanctuary. 

The multi-purpose family life center can serve as a formal space for banquets, receptions, lectures, and concerts, but can also serve as a gymnasium for athletic activities. A flexible stage, high-tech A/V system, and a vast range of lighting capabilities were incorporated to host the variety of events. High-efficiency glass with a high shading coefficient was used to provide glare-free daylighting and increase energy efficiency. Materials such as wood trusses, high vaulted ceiling, and tall windows were used to reflect the character of the existing sanctuary. A cushioned sheet vinyl flooring gives the appearance of a wooden floor while providing durability for banquet events and recreational activities. The new addition also features a full commercial kitchen, a second level walking track, adult classrooms, and administrative offices. 

The original narthex of the existing church was too small and not inviting. A new foyer was designed to draw people in and provide space for fellowship and formal gatherings. A connecting outdoor courtyard provides additional space for both indoor and outdoor gathering space. 

The basement of the existing sanctuary was renovated as a gathering space for the youth and includes a kitchenette. 

The new family life center building is larger in scale than the existing sanctuary; therefore, the challenge was to design it to fit in with the context of the existing sanctuary without overshadowing it. In order to break up the massing of the large fellowship hall building, a cruciform plan of pitched roofs was developed to respond to the character of the existing church while breaking the large gymnasium into more appropriate scale masses. 

A key component to the success of the project was the teamwork approach used between the Owner, Architect, Engineers, and Contractor. SYS Constructors was selected to join the team during the design process. The teamwork approach allowed Neal Prince Architects to study a variety of systems and materials in order to keep the project on budget and maintain design quality. Decision-making was handled with good communication between all parties, providing solutions that all team members could support to keep the project moving on the right track.   


DIV. 4: Brick: Hansen.
DIV. 7: Shingles: Timberline by GAF. 
DIV. 8: Entrances & Storefronts: YKK AP America. 
DIV. 9: Carpet: Shaw; VCT: Armstrong; Sports Flooring: LG Floor.
DIV. 14: Elevators: ThyssenKrupp.

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