By Gino Beltran
Nearly 100 years ago, churches were rarely just a Sunday house of worship – they were known for building hospitals, schools, universities, community centers and more that served their surrounding neighborhoods.
At Visioneering, we’ve been honored to partner with many churches over the years who desire to bring some of that history back into the present with multi-purpose facilities that serve the community beyond their four walls.
When we first heard that Crosspointe Church in Cary, North Carolina, was looking for community solutions rather than just a building, we couldn’t wait to come alongside.
In the “triangle” area of North Carolina between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, population was soaring – and with it, a surge of issues among local youth. More teenagers were getting into trouble, and more children were becoming obese at an alarming rate.
The leadership at Crosspointe wanted to provide positive resources for local youth but knew they wouldn’t be as effective on their own. So, they began to develop partnerships with other organizations in the area, including the YMCA.
The location of Crosspointe would also be a key advantage in engaging people in the area. Sitting at the trail head that leads down to Jordan Lake, Crosspointe’s site was a destination for anyone walking, hiking, or biking up the trail from the lake.
We began to dream together – what if those people could join a Zumba or Crossfit class when they got to the church? What if youth found afterschool programs that were actually worth the walk?
In order to provide a seven-day-a-week experience for the community, we re-designed Crosspointe’s existing spaces and expanded with reuse and activity in mind.
There is a full kitchen that will be leased out by a local baker, a coffee house open daily, trails, and recreational areas throughout the campus for physical activities.
Even the lobby itself was designed to house everything from exercise classes to MOPS groups. And of course, the 650-seat gymnasium that houses Sunday worship can now additionally be used for events throughout the community.
The next step in completing Crosspointe’s updated facilities was to add additional space that would house a YMCA.
The YMCA, open for membership, provides another 1,400 seats for Crosspointe’s services. The gym doubles as a worship center, complete with projection scoreboards that can turn on and off, and thus transform the room.
The YMCA also uses Crosspointe’s nursery and Pre-Kindergarten rooms for their daycare services, thus greatly reducing the amount of square footage that would have been required with two separate building projects.
That’s not the only thing unique about the YMCA addition on Crosspointe’s campus. Thanks to the creative mind behind Crosspointe’s Administrative Pastor, TJ Terry, we were able to take the trees we harvested from the expansion site and use them as building materials on the YMCA – carrying the theme of reuse throughout both the old and new buildings.
At Visioneering, we embrace every opportunity to redefine the culture around us to a movement of repurposing, and we were thrilled to partner with a leadership team that values the same responsible design.
When you step foot onto Crosspointe’s new campus, the lofted ceilings and natural design elements invite you to take a deep breath and feel the endorphins – as though exercising in the fresh air.
From the open concrete floors meant to withstand a lot of activity, to the hanging ropes used as seating area dividers, reflections of nature brought inside can be found throughout the buildings’ materials.
As part of our ministry at Visioneering, we feel called to do everything we can to help our church partners answer the tough questions that come along with building, and move forward with clarity and confidence towards greater Kingdom-impact.
With Crosspointe, we focused on three main ideas:
- Story – Who is their community, and what are they passionate about?
- Soil – What is unique about their city and region?
- Stewardship – What are the next steps we can take towards their goals without exhausting their ministry budgets?
Crosspointe Church in Cary, North Carolina, is a beautiful example of churches being for their communities again, every day of the week.
Gino Beltran is vice president of marketing for Visioneering Studios, www.visioneeringstudios.com. Since their conception in 2002, they have grown into the only faith-based design-build firm nationwide offering their suite of services to churches, nonprofits, and commercial businesses alike.