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2/42 church in brighton

Open 7 Days A Week

By Clare Desmond, Contributing Editor

You probably won't see candles or incense at the new 2/42 Community Church in Brighton. Nor are you likely to see an organ, but if you do, it will probably be secondary to guitars, keyboards and drums for decidedly modern arrangements. But if a church is a place where people "celebrate, connect and contribute together,• as Lead Pastor David Dummitt says, and do that more than just on Sundays, then the new 2/42 Community Church is definitely onto something. Attendance at the church has grown steadily from the 30 individuals who started it back in 2004, to approximately 2,600 as of August 2013 who regularly attend one of two services on Sunday and one on Saturday.

And now, the church has a freshly renovated and enlarged church building of its own in which to celebrate, connect and contribute -the church's 'Three Cs.' "We encourage the people we come in contact with to celebrate in a weekly service, connect in a small group and contribute to the work of God in our community and around the world," Dummitt notes on the church's website. And grow! By 2011, regular attendance had grown enough to support the purchase of the closed Brighton Athletic Club building, which had been vacant for nearly eight years.

Following a S7 million renovation and addition to the deteriorated steel structure by Construction Manager, Contracting Resources Inc. (CAI), Brighton, the new 2/42 Community Church's growing popularity is evident. It has become a go-to venue all week long - just what its founders wanted when they deemed the church a community center as well as a house of worship for Livingston County residents and anyone else who cares to walk in.

The 2/42 Church was started in August 2004 by 30 people, some of whom emigrated here from Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, following Dummitt, then serving in Burlington, KY in a practice called church "planting; which is to say, they started the church from scratch, without affiliation with any other church. Dummitt was recruited to be Lead Pastor by Brighton resident Bob Smith, a retired police officer who, with his wife Kim, had been interested in starting a new church for several years. Smith is the Brighton Campus Pastor. When the new church held its first public service in rented space in early 2005, approximately 500 people attended. By the time the church held its first service in its own renovated building, on February 13, 2013, about 3,000 people participated. And the church has been known to attract a whopping 3,800 people. The 2/42 Community Church in Brighton is open from 8 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. In 2009, the church opened a campus in Ann Arbor; Kevin Davis is the Campus Pastor there.


Since a founding idea for the church was to encourage people to come to it all seven days of the week, Dummitt and Smith engaged the community in discussions early on to find out what it wanted in the new church/community center. "We wanted a place that people would come to and congregate - and not just on Sundays; they agreed. The name alone encourages people to inquire about the church, Dummitt noted. It comes from the Bible's Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2:42-47, which says, in part: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer ... they gave to anyone as he had need ... they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts."

Besides the unusual name, the church's appearance also encourages inquiry. It exterior is inviting, exciting even, and hard to miss with its multicolored facade, angled entrances and sign age that calls out to a "Kid Community" and "Family Entrance." The renovated facility is attracting large numbers of enthusiastic people seven days a week, just as its founders had hoped. So many, in fact, that parking already is not sufficient, and additional seating is being added in the mezzanine area of the sanctuary. The church's sanctuary provides seating for nearly 1,000 plus nine wheelchair spaces on the ground floor, and 168 more in stadium style seating on the mezzanine, also recently renovated in a separate project. An elevator was installed near the entrance to the sanctuary on the building's east elevation, so that both levels of the structure are accessible to the handicapped.

The new facility also offers a host of amenities and activities in its Community Center area, called The Commons. Besides office/administrative space, there is a cafe, an indoor regulation U9 (under nine years of age) soccer field, and a large indoor kids' playscape, designed by Worlds of Wow, Argyle, TX. The playset includes a rock climbing wall and features entry from both inside and outside, the latter via a curved slide. There are meeting/conference rooms and rooms dedicated to different age groups: young children, teens and adults. There are music and art rooms with lessons available (Lead Pastor Dummitt's wife, Rachel, directs the art school),as well as youth and teen worship spaces and a recreation or "hang-out" space. There are day-care facilities and a Kid Community for children 2-5 years of age, entered from a hallway decorated with an artistic streetscape highlighting Brighton landmarks and the Detroit skyline, created by Plain Joe Studios of Irvine, CA, working directly for the owner. Plain Joe Studios did the artwork throughout the center, which includes numerous informative and instructional banners and wall hangings. One series of posters provides a brief history of the church.


"It doesn't exactly look, smell or feel like a church,• said Jason Whitlock, AIA, LEED AP, regional director for the architect, Visioneering Studios, Denver, CO. The vision of the church, he noted, included the "redemption of that old building, transforming it from dead and broken to living and active. It's an attitude to redeem and reclaim things that are discarded and make them strong." As an example, he said, the church has a Free Stuff Van used to carry "stuff" to people in need and to give away popsicles, bottled water, sports drinks, ice cream, candy, household supplies, etc. at local businesses, festivals, and to low-income housing residents. "Showing God's love in practical ways," Dummitt explained. "The church partners with several local and international organizations to help those in our community, estimated to be roughly 67 percent, who have no church home, and the estimated 20 percent of the people worldwide who live on less than $2 a day. The church has an Impact the World wall of art that encourages people to learn about an immediate need and meet it. One need is to supply laundry detergent for a month to those experiencing financial crisis or poverty.Another need is to provide clean drinking water in Haiti.The church's RainCatchers Program in Haiti builds rainwater collection and storage systems for individual families."

Whitlock and his colleagues at Visioneering Studios - Jana Edelbrock Simison, AIA, LEED APe, project architect, and Brooklyn Allen, RA, LEED APe - designed a colorful exterior featuring several eye-catching entryways. Speaking to the church's mission to reclaim the discarded, the designers employed reclaimed materials on the exterior and interior, and used them in ways that are fun, inviting and hard to ignore. Old wood sliding barn doors, for example, lead into one conference room, and a steel shipping container was used for the Snack Shack.
The old 680-foot-long athletic club structure, used primarily as a tennis club, was a pre-engineered steel building and was in "significant disrepair" after being vacant for about eight years, said Contracting Resources President James Barnas, AIA. In addition to Barnas, also involved in the project were the contractors: John Jickling, director of preconstruction services, who interfaced with the architect; Dave Melville, project manager; Mike Cirka, project engineer; and Ian Perry, project superintendent. Civil engineering services were provided by consultant Wayne Perry PE, Design Inc., Brighton.

The project called for selective demolition of the existing structure and construction of an approximately 30-foot to 35-foot-deep by 1 SO-foot-wide addition to the north and east elevations. The 88,800-square-foot project renovated 73,500 square feet of space (60,900 square feet on the upper level and 12,600 square feet on the lower level), and added 15,300 square feet (4,800 square feet on the lower level and 10,500 square feet on the upper level). The existing structure was modified for added dead and live loads.

The addition created a completely new faces that differed significantly from the other building elevations, Barnas said. What was there before was a fairly plain masonry wall of buff-colored bricks, a portion of which was retained and the addition extends north. Two new entrances were constructed on the north elevation for the addition, one of which enters directly into the cafe and leads to the administrative offices. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating and indoor and outdoor fireplaces, the latter facing an ashlar patterned stamped concrete patio surrounded by a 3- foot-tall cultured stone wall. The fireplaces were placed back to back so they look like one, but they're actually two separate fireplaces. Two more entrances were created on the east elevation: one to the Kid Community and the other to the main sanctuary.


Contracting Resources Inc. worked closely with the 2/42 owners during the design phase, CAi's Jickling said. "Due to the fact that Visioneering is based in Denver, design review meetings were conducted via internet-based conferencing programs," he said. "We helped communicate the design intent to the client, and our presence at these meetings helped guide Bob (Smith) and Dave (Dummitt) through the evolution from schematic design to construction."The cost implication of every design decision was weighed on cost/benefit, he added.

"The challenges of making the old, tired building functional and creating the dynamic spaces proposed by Visioneering required creative solutions to keep the project within budget," Jickling continued. "Some of those solutions included leaving the existing asphalt tennis court surface in place and pouring a 3-inch concrete topping over it; keeping existing racquetball court walls in place wherever possible, and the judicious use of substitute finishes and systems while keeping to the design intent."

The existing pre-engineered metal building was too large of an area for the assembly use, architect Whitlock explained. Therefore, the existing structure was completely reanalyzed and then compartmentalized into three fire areas. Jickling said separating the building into three fire areas with two full-height masonry 3-hour firewalls would allow up to 2,850 occupants in A-3 assembly use under fully fire-suppressed Construction Type Ill B under the Michigan Building Code. The firewalls extend east to west and are each 120 feet long by heights ranging from 18 feet to 38 feet tall at their peaks, CRl's Project Superintendent Perry said. One separates the sanctuary on the south end of the structure from the soccer field, and the other, placed about 25 feet north of the soccer field, separates the north portion of the building. Type Ill B construction allowed an existing wood framed mezzanine to remain. It is located in an area approximately in the center of the building on the west side with about 6,500 square feet of currently unused space not renovated in the current project, Perry said. Future plans call for the area to be renovated for use by middle school students, and to include a half-court basketball court.

Multiple varied spaces with differing uses required ingenious thinking on the part of the construction manager. "CRI worked with SCO Engineering of Fort Wayne, IN, a consultant to the architect, and with Sharon's Heating & Cooling, Westland, to find cost-effective HVAC solutions for the various occupancies contained in the sprawling building," Jickling said. "CRI worked hand-in hand with the owner, MAS Electrical Services Inc., Farmington Hills, and lighting fixture manufacturer's representative Gasser Bush Associates, Livonia, to select dramatic but economical lighting," he continued. "About $75,000 was saved by finding alternate fixtures with similar appearance and performance." MAS Electrical Project Estimator Frank Struble said they were "able to maintain the designer's needs for appearance and impact, while reducing the cost to the owner:


The addition features lots of glazing, including clerestory windows and glass curtain walls, and an urban aesthetic with exposed ductwork, industrial lighting fixtures and polished concrete floors, some of them colored. Reclaimed wood and stucco were used for exterior siding on part of the addition, along with some decorative corrugated steel cladding as a design element tying that area visually to two new entryways constructed of colorfully painted corrugated metal panels assembled to look like steel shipping containers.

A real corrugated steel shipping container was repurposed as an indoor Snack Shack in the new 90-foot-wide by 135-foot-long indoor soccer field. Several old 55-gallon metal drums were reused to surround the B­vent of an indoor fireplace in the soccer field. Another fireplace installed in the patio area outside the soccer field also features what appears to be a vent stack surrounded by more 55-gallon drums, but the drums there are just for visual effect. The soccer field is covered in rubberized synthetic turf from Shaw Sports Turf, Kennesaw, GA. Operable glass overhead doors on the east side of the field - through which the reclaimed shipping container barely fit - open onto the patio constructed of concrete stamped to look like wood planks.

Before any new construction could begin, however, the site required grading and foundation repair which included the instal­lation of 87 helical piers, some as deep as 40 feet, Perry said. In addition, the existing floor level had to be elevated one foot in an area approximately 30 feet x 120 feet toward the north end of the existing lower level in order to bring it up to the grade elevation of the slab south of it.

Services in the sanctuary are enhanced with state-of-the-art electronics, a 12-foot x 36-foot LED screen center-stage aided by a pair of slightly smaller screens to each side and high-end electronics behind the stage. Lighting for the stage is controlled remotely from the back of the room. There is a full size baptismal pool that by June 2013 had been used 280 times, Dummit noted. The church, which Dummitt says conducts funerals free of charge, maintains an extensive website and Facebook page, and multiple videos of services can be seen on YouTube.com. On the website, Lead Pastor Dummitt explains the mission of the church: "Our weekend services are designed to present basic biblical truths and how they apply to our everyday lives. They reflect our belief that you shouldn't have to disconnect from the things you enjoy, the music you like or your sense of humor.just because you are in church."

In its design and usage, it seems the new 2/42 Church and Community Center has achieved what it set out to do: create a multi-use facility that engages spirit and body, and which creates a friendly, viable and growing community.