Pastor Dennis Stoneman knew that his congregation was quickly outgrowing his church’s aging facility. He just didn’t know there was an aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective solution to the problem.
Until he discovered Allied Steel.
Stoneman, leader of the First Baptist Church of Burley, Idaho, was floored at the initial costs he encountered when looking into building a new house of worship. He wanted the same kind of handsome facility that his followers had enjoyed previously. Just not at the prices he’d been quoted.
Jerry Walton, a builder with Walton Inc. and a member of the church, put it this way:
“We had a $2 million vision and an $800,000 budget,” Walton says with a laugh.
Walton’s company helped Stoneman find the right fit – in looks and price – with an Allied Steel building.
Today, First Baptist Church has a new church that matches the wood look of the former church building, but with the cost-effective and easy-to-build convenience of steel.
Local designer Kevin Meyers drew up plans that included a wood structure on the front of the building for aesthetics, with steel comprising the majority of the church.
“The wood structure on the entrance side features an entrance foyer, classroom, two nurseries and the restrooms,” Walton says. “It looks great from the outside and was surprisingly easy to get built.”
After an eight-month search for the right company to provide the church building, Walton ordered the building in November, 2003. He says the materials for the 24,000 square foot building arrived on schedule on New Year’s Day.
Getting the building erected proved a challenge.
Stoneman says the winter of 2004 was one of the harsher years in recent memory. Walton concurs, saying that with the snow, his six-person crew had to resort to a little creativity in insulating the church.
“It seemed like it snowed every day last winter. Many days we’d go out there and there’d be a foot of snow on the slab,” Walton says. “We decided to put the roof on before the insulation – which Allied didn’t say to do. But once the roof was on, we could get the insulation in without any water damage.”
That insulation has proved to be one of the greatest benefits in the new church, Stoneman says. The church features a 54-foot wide stage that allows for music performances. Surprisingly for a steel building, the acoustics have garnered rave reviews from Walton and other parishioners.
“The insulation allows for great acoustics, because the sound doesn’t bounce all over the walls,” Stoneman said. “But better yet, it keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer.”
The new church was completed the first week of April. Pastor Stoneman says. “So far, it’s been great. For as big a building as it is, it’s become a really warm environment.”
Walton agrees. He says that other area churches are even taking notice.
“Two other churches I know of are looking at what we’re doing and thinking about doing it themselves,” Walton says. “I’d have no problem recommending it to others.”