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Palmer Moravian Church Renovation & Addition

John Street & Moravian Avenue
Easton, PA 18045

Owner: Palmer Township Community
Moravian Church

Customer Testimonial

Architect: Batten Architects
1502 Center St., Suite 201
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date of Completion: July 2001

This project was driven by the needs of a space starved Church needing more room to expand their ministries on a property that is land locked and has little room for expansion. The only answer was to construct a new addition inside the three existing wings of the church. This resulted in an 8,908 square foot addition including a basement and main floor addition. The project included adding four new offices, two new classrooms, Bell Choir and Choir Rehearsal Rooms, Conference Room, Nursery, Storage Rooms, Handicapped Accessible Toilets, Kitchenette, Living Room, Gathering Room and a new three-stop elevator.

Miller, Miller & McLachlan was involved early in the project design to develop construction cost estimates and develop cost savings ideas. The project was constructed on an “Open Book” Construction Management Basis. There were cost savings on the project of which 100% were returned to the Church.

There were many challenges in constructing this project. First, the addition included the construction of a new basement level next to the original church that did not have a basement and two other wings that had basements at different elevations. The new basement foundation and wall next to the original church had to be constructed and backfilled in sections to avoid undermining the foundation of the 52-year old structure. A new radon vent system was installed and a foundation drain constructed and tied into the existing foundation drain system.

Another challenge was to find cost effective doors for the Entry Foyer from the Gathering room that were fire rated and still match the raised panel doors in the existing Sanctuary. To accomplish this in the most cost effective way the owner choose to select flush wood rated doors with moldings applied that simulated the raised panels of the doors in the sanctuary.

The building basement foundation walls are constructed with concrete masonry units. The first floor is constructed with steel joist and deck and the roof structure are wooden trusses. The dividing walls next to the existing structure were constructed to create a fire wall barrier.

The front elevation of the new addition is constructed with brick, EIFS and other custom millwork. The front portico entrance to the Gathering Area includes custom radius molding, millwork and columns.

The main room of the project was a new Gathering Area which is a large area where people meet before and after Church activities. The area includes custom crown and two-piece base moldings. The walls were finished with vinyl wall coverings.

The Living Room includes custom crown, two piece chair rail and base moldings. The wainscot of the walls were finished with vinyl wall coverings.

The Pastor’s office includes sound batt insulation and full height walls as well as sound thresholds and trim on the doors to allow for private consultation with the members.

There were several folding partitions installed to divide classrooms into smaller areas. A Soundmaster Model SM80 Accordion Partition divides the Bell Choir and Choir Rehearsal Rooms. This partition has an STC Rating of 35 and extra measures were taken to eliminate sound transmission above the partition. A second track was installed for the installation of a future partition.
The existing windows in the Sanctuary previously looked into the courtyard which is now filled with the new addition. To help continue the symmetry of the windows on both sides of the Sanctuary and to create the feeling of light from the outside, light wells were constructed and fluorescent lights were installed.

The roofing system is a fully adhered EPDM system. The work required re-roofing a flat section of roof on the middle classroom wing of the existing structure. The work also required re-shingling the roof of the original church wing and replacing the louvers of the original bell tower. The work also included tying the rubber roof into the new shingle roof and the slate roof of the existing Sanctuary.

The elevator required a two door, three-stop system for the two floor building to accommodate the differing basement levels in the existing church.

The HVAC System includes a multi-zoned gas fired heating and electric air conditioning system. The building has sprinklers in the storage areas as required by code. Plumbing included piping for all the new toilets, kitchenette and gas lines.

The electrical systems included light dimming packages, security system and decorative lights.

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