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Ocean View Church of Christ Pacifica, California
By: Jennifer Walker-Journey

The young, coastal town of Pacifica, California, is an environmentally conscious community. Its residents take pride in its distinct neighborhoods and shopping centers. So when Ocean View Church of Christ made plans to build its 7,800-square-foot prefabricated metal church building on a small plot of land a quarter mile from the ocean, its upscale neighbors took pause.

"It's a high-end community. You just can't put up a metal building without raising eyebrows," said Joel Flory, with Flory Construction, Inc., of San Leandro, California.

Joel's father, owner and president David Flory, had worked with the church for two years on plans that not only would meet the need for a sanctuary, classrooms and office space, but also stay well within the church's tight budget. The low-cost metal buildings made that dream a possibility.

However, it put the church was in a quandary. With the price of land in Pacifica so high and its strict construction budget, Ocean View Church of Christ could not afford many luxuries. The metal buildings put the cost of construction well below average for the community. But, the community had to be happy with the outcome.

David Flory wasn't worried. He knew some creative design elements would transform the metal buildings and make the church a welcome addition to the town.

He pulled together a team to tackle the project-SIM Architects, Inc., of San Francisco and Clausen Construction of Lodi, California. The team set to work designing and then building the church to house a sanctuary, classrooms, offices, conferences rooms, small kitchen, and bathrooms.

The team began the project, utilizing a single slope framing system produced by Metallic Building Company. The project pieced together three buildings with different eave heights and included an open lobby in the center. The lobby featured full-length windows that offered a larger, more airy feel. The lobby was skewed, allowing the sanctuary building to be slightly angled.

Windows measuring 12 inches by 12 inches were set randomly along the sanctuary wall for an added effect. Stucco was built around the exterior, and Double-Lok standing seam roofing panels with 70 percent Kynar finish were installed.

Ocean View Church of Christ is a small church with a congregation of fewer than 200 members, but it had the potential to grow. The growth would not be unexpected, but it could require the church to relocate in the future.

With that in mind, Ocean View specifically asked Flory Construction to consider the building's resale opportunity during the planning process. Should Ocean View need to relocate to a larger building in the years to come, its current facility would be more marketable if it appealed not only to other churches, but also to businesses as well. The innovative design elements were drawn to make the building look less like a stereotypical church building.

And, if necessary, "the indoor classrooms could be used as offices, and the large sanctuary could easily be divided up into more offices," Joel Flory said.

When the project was completed, the creative design work won the company a beautification award from Metal Building Company. But, most importantly, the community was pleasantly surprised.

Shortly after construction was completed, the local paper ran a letter to the editor in which one previously concerned citizen wrote, "Thumbs up goes to the Ocean View Church of Christ at Clarendon and Oceana. What a wonderful building! Congratulations to the congregation, the pastor, and the architect for designing and building such a great addition to Pacifica. Some people were concerned that it would look like this large, monolithic box, but look at the nuances that have been designed in - the wonderful little windows in the mail hall that will bring inspirational shifts of light in, the wonderful use of colors to break up the building, the landscaping. It is a true testament to what can be done on a limited budget."

Flory Construction, Inc., established in 1965, is a Christian owned and operated construction company specializing in all areas of church construction, including renovation, additions, planning and design-build, www.floryconstruction.com .

In a Nutshell

Church: Ocean View Church of Christ

Location: Pacifica, California

Congregation Size: Less than 200

Project Goal: Design and build a low-cost church that would appeal to the community, while designed so that if the church grew and needed to relocate to more land, the current building could be sold and serve as office space for outside businesses.

Size: 7,800 square feet

Cost: $1.533 million

Challenge: Using prefabricated metal buildings helped reduce the construction cost, but the prospect of using the metal buildings raised eyebrows in the upscale community of Pacifica.

Solution: Stucco facades were built around the buildings and windows were strategically placed to hide the metal buildings and win community approval.

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