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Exterior of Heartland Church in Sun Prarie

Heartland Church

Sun Prairie, WI
Services: Remodel
Architect: Risepointe - Hollow, IL

Incredibly inclusive outreach is made possible through a 26,000 square foot church expansion and renovation in an industrial business park.

Visible from Highway 151 in the burgeoning suburban community of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, a once nondescript industrial building has been transformed into one of the fastest growing and most impactful ministries in the area.

Exterior before
Entry before
Front before
Side view before
Back view before
Interior during
Sanctuary during
Sanctuary during
Sanctuary during
Teen area during
Interior during
Office area during
Office area during
Interior during
Interior during
Back, dock area during

Incredible growth

Husband and wife Pastors Jon and Ashley McNary have led Heartland Church since 2007, when two existing Sun Prairie churches merged and became part of the eponymous growing “megachurch” in Rockford, Illinois, that was drawing more than 5,000 people to its services each weekend.

An initial congregation of about 75, the self-described “different way to do church” grew quickly and moved into half of a former fitness center in the Sun Prairie Business Park, leasing the other half. But by 2017, the church once again needed more space. The church launched a two-year, one-fund discipleship and fundraising initiative, “Deep and Wide,” to expand into the second half of its building and grow its ministries.

Rendering of the new, main entrance
Exterior color rendering
Rendering of the new main entrance
Rendering of the sanctuary
Rendering of a seating area
Rendering of the cafe and office entry
Rendering of a new seating area
Rendering of the new junior worship space

Building expansion

The church engaged NCI-Roberts Construction early in the planning process, and the contractor supported its fundraising efforts through preconstruction.  Construction commenced in March 2019. Even though the start date had been delayed, the NCI-Roberts team maintained the original completion date, and the first worship services in the new space were celebrated in mid-December.

The project included remodeling the existing 10,000 square foot space and the formerly leased 16,000 square foot space. The expansion allowed for a supporting lobby, bathroom core, and increased children’s, office and support space.

New, main entrance after
Front view after renovation
Exterior after
New ADA-accessible playground

Exterior

Building façade improvements included the addition of simulated wood metal and lanterns and full building height glass, to ensure a warm welcoming feeling as you approach the building. An adjacent lot was added to accommodate 120 additional parking spaces and create dedicated spaces for families with young children.

Entrance to the new sanctuary
New sanctuary
Men's bathroom
Women's bathroom
Cafe and hallway to children's ministry
Cafe and office entrance after
ADA-accessible playground

Welcome and worship

Past the new main entrance and vestibule is a welcoming café and seating area and an indoor, ADA-accessible playground open to the community during the week. Wood plank wall accents match the exterior.

A new junior worship space seats 226 people, and the main worship space seats almost 600; the original space had room for only 350. Onsite services continued throughout the majority of construction.

 

Children’s ministry
Children’s ministry check-in stations
Hallway to classrooms
Outdoor design theme
Nursery
Nursery
Hallway to classrooms
Classroom
Hallway
Classroom

Children’s and inclusive ministries

Classrooms were renovated and added for children ages six weeks to fifth grade, each designed to meet the specific needs of that age group. A sensory friendly “Wonderfully Made” room was designed for individuals with disabilities and/or diverse needs. Inspired in part by a tragedy in one of its pastor’s lives, additional accommodations for the differently abled were constructed, including an adult-sized changing table in the family restroom. A room for nursing mothers includes a television for services and announcements. A quiet room is also available for parents with babies or those in need of a sensory friendly experience.

Details

New, modern lighting and a mix of neutral and bright finishes throughout match the church’s energetic ministry style. Carpet, luxury vinyl and porcelain tile flooring were installed, and existing industrial concrete flooring was polished.

Technology updates, including sound booths, children’s ministry check-in stations and televisions, ensure access and convenience.

The congregation volunteered throughout construction, supporting the initiative in time and talent, as well as treasure. Artwork, café bench backs, desks, the sensory wall, coat racks and more were created by members.

Impact

The renovated space achieved all the goals Heartland set forth in their initiative, both deepening ongoing efforts and providing space for more worship and ministry – for children, those with special needs, students and small groups.

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