CDH was chosen to provide planning and design services for First Baptist Church at The Villages in The Villages, Florida. The master plan was developed to add a worship center, administrative spaces along with small group spaces and some other community type facilities. Even though this is a retirement community located within a progressive resort area, the leadership wanted it to be welcoming and embracing for all age groups. Therefore, the approach to the design of this facility was contemporary with theater seating for 900 people. Designers also included an area where younger children could go for classes during the main worship service. Both the exterior and interior designs have the look and feel of a Florida resort community. Light colors, heavy wicker furniture in gathering areas, island ceiling fans, and an abundance of natural light make this a comfortable and welcoming setting. The decision to use a sloped floor and theater seats resulted good sightlines from all seats. There is also state-of-the-art audio and video integration into the sanctuary to enhance the worship experience.
If there was a challenge for this project, it involved taking the original vision, preserving it, and building the structure within budget utilizing a pre-engineered type of structural system. CDH and the pre-engineering building systems team were able to do this and the results are striking both inside and outside the facility.