Posted in projects on June 12, 2017 2:34 pm EDT

15-Year Journey Leads to Expansion of Louisiana Church

A growing church steps up to the needs of a growing community, fortified with materials worthy of Louisiana weather, following Hurricane Katrina's original devastation and lingering effects.

Rendering courtesy of HH Architects, Dallas.











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TAGS: architectural design, master planning, materials, renovation, sustainability,


By Erica Cottrill

Pastor Waylon Bailey has a vision for the future. The expansion of his church, First Baptist Church Covington (FBC COV) in Covington, La., is 15 years in the making. “The community is growing, and we are growing with it,” he says.

In 2001 the church relocated from its downtown neighborhood with an undeveloped 2.25-acre area to a 158,000-foot, 43-acre site surrounded by restaurants, storefronts, schools and homes. Once completed in 2018, the $45-million project, including the new facility, will reportedly host a community of 4,500 members. “We are a regional church," Bailey notes. “It is a massive project progressing one step at a time.”

Image courtesy of Capital Glass.


“We want the space to be inviting in terms of design. Glass surrounds the space creating a bright environment and providing a contemporary and positive atmosphere which I believe will attract more members,” says Jason Coffey of Capital Glass and a member of the church.

“The expansion is so strong that we expect to serve 3,000 to 3,500 people each week through services and Bible studies,” says Bailey. The church reaches all generations from teens to WWII vets.

“Due to job relocations and destroyed homes, many families from our congregation were forced to leave after Katrina, but fortunately many have returned and are bolstering the expansion; as a result we now we need more space,” Coffey notes.

Other than creating an inviting place, there are key tools to protect the church from punishing storms.

Products promote safety

Marietta, Ga.-based YKK AP’s ProTek product line was chosen as part of the build for its hurricane and impact-resistant performance, notes Greg Galloway, ProTek Brand Manager for YKK AP America Inc.

YKK ProTek: YHS 50 TU thermally broken impact resistant and blast mitigating storefront system

“Standards for hurricane impact protection are currently well developed and accepted. Yet YKK AP goes beyond offering standard products,” Galloway reports. “Designed to protect buildings from flying debris and fierce cyclical winds, its breadth of testing is more extensive than most."

The ProTek line is used to create a commons area for Sunday fellowship; a bookstore and coffee shop; and a large worship center. “We host 2,200 people every Sunday, so our expansion has been a pragmatic as well as a spiritual process,” Coffey notes.

For large elevations, YHC 3000G and SSG were used, says Galloway. “These represent a combination of a captured curtain wall and a structural silicone glazed curtain wall.”

Smaller elevations utilize the YHS 50TU storefront system. The Yesy 45 non-impact storefront system was reportedly used in the building’s interior. Although the geographic allocation of FBC COV doesn’t require the highest level of hurricane protection, many of these systems were incorporated into the new building.

YKK AP expels aluminum material in a one million-square foot automated plant in Dublin, Ga. “Simply put, our systems fit together smoothly and consistently and perform without a lot of banging and bumping on the job site,” Galloway adds.

Today the church has become a destination place, offering programs such as Vacation Bible School and an education building to accommodate the 1,000 children who attend.

“Even with our large population, we are breaking into smaller groups to generate an intimate connection. Our goal is to create this personalized feeling through Bible Fellowship groups, which will be held in the new education building. We want everyone to interact and feel welcomed,” Coffey closes.





Learn more about the companies in this story:

YKK AP America Inc.


HH Architects



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