Living Word Church

The Living Word Community Church project is special because the Smucker Company team had helped to build the original building a number of years ago when the congregation moved to their new location. Now years later, it was very exciting to be a part of updating and expanding the building and also seeing how the church has grown and therefore needed to take on this new building project. The church leadership was a pleasure to work with and Smucker Company is honored to have been chosen to work in their building again.

As you drive in the driveway to the church building, you immediately notice the light tower and entrance canopy that was added during this project. The church building sits down in a little “bowl” and as you drive on the road past the building, it was hard to even see that a building was there. With this beautiful new design feature at the entrance to their office area, you can now see that part of the building from the road and it creates a great visual as you approach the building. Smucker Company installed all the metal stud framing, exterior sheathing and the “wood plank” linear metal ceiling on the curved areas of the tower and the canopy.

  • Client: Living Word Church
  • Location: Red Lion, PA
  • Project Type: Places of Worship

Smucker Company faced an immediate challenge as they started their work on this project. The project was facing substantial delays from challenges and delays with getting the foundations poured. The schedule for our work was condensed by about 2 months, but the end date was not going to change…the church wanted it completed by their 2017 Christmas Eve services. A lot of time was taken to coordinate with the GC and other trades as the schedule was reworked so that everyone could complete their portion of work on time. Smucker Company was able to complete all our work in 6 months, even though the original schedule for our work was 8 months.

There were also huge delays created by the “wood plank” metal ceilings. The selection process for the Owner and Architect took quite a bit longer than expected. In addition, the product that was chosen had a much longer lead time then the product that had been selected previously. The end result was that Smucker Company’s personnel was left with about 2 weeks to complete that portion of the work and it was in December just before the scheduled completion of the entire project. We added a Job Foreman and extra crews just for the installation of the “wood plank” ceilings. We installed the last piece of the ceiling the week of Christmas and the congregation was able to have their building completed for the Christmas Eve services.

As is always the case with renovation projects, there were lots of areas of our scope that could not be accurately captured on the drawings. Until the demo is complete is renovated areas, we often don’t know exactly how an area might be configured, etc. Therefore, many decisions are made as we go along. This takes lots of cooperation between the Architect, GC, Owner and all the trades. Smucker’s management and field team participated willingly in these discussions and helped quickly create the solutions needed to keep the project moving toward the fast-approaching finish date.

During construction, the church needed to stay functional and use the existing building, not only every weekend, but also for their programming during the week. This created unique challenges with having to provide extra clean-up and preparation for our work areas to be “lived in” on evenings and weekend. Quite often, on Friday afternoons our crews would be helping the GC with extra clean-up, installing temporary partitions and temporary barricades. In some cases, there was also temporary flooring installed…all in an effort by the GC, Smucker Company and all other trades to minimize the impact of the construction on the congregation.

In the “Kid Life” area, we installed suspended Acoustical clouds manufactured by Armstrong. The design of the clouds simulates clouds in the sky and in a couple places they are installed at different heights and overlap each other. These clouds came as a “kit” from Armstrong, complete with the Axiom border trim and the gridwork needed to create the cloud design. Smucker Company personnel then field cut all the acoustical ceiling at all the different angles and curves needed to fit into the grid. The issue was that some of the “kits” had to be modified to fit the area where they needed to be installed. Our tradesman provided the expertise needed to make these modifications and not affect the overall look of the ceiling.

In the main lobby/fellowship area, there is a complex combination of sloped and angled drywall soffits, sloped and angled drywall ceilings, corner beads, reveal beads, GRG columns, “wood plank” linear metal ceilings and acoustical ceilings. There were also linear diffusers that needed to be installed by the HVAC contractor in these soffits and ceilings. There was very little installation tolerance which meant that the coordination between the Smucker Company Job Foreman and the HVAC contractor was very important so that all the products would fit properly. We are very proud of how this area looks because of the complexity of the design and all the details that went into the planning and installation of the products. The main lobby/fellowship area with all of the high ceilings, architectural products, angles and slopes creates an incredible fellowship space for the congregation.

Over the reception desk and over the Common Grounds area, we installed Armstrong 360 grid and Axiom trim to create an open ceiling cloud. These clouds do not have acoustical tile installed in the grid. Therefore, the entire grid needs to be painted, hence the name 360 grid. These clouds are suspended from the acoustical ceiling above it which creates “layers” in the ceiling. It’s a very nice design feature and creates depth to those spaces.

As I reflect on the involvement of Smucker Company on the Living Word Church project, I am most proud of the way we were able to complete the job on time regardless of what at times seemed like insurmountable schedule challenges. And while dealing with the schedule challenges, we still maintained a very high level of quality and safety for the entire project. It’s very rewarding when all these factors come together and create a beautiful building and the church was able to celebrate Christmas Eve in their new building.