Expansion plans will soften look, feel of Orland’s Parkview Christian Church
BY MIKE NOLAN firstname.lastname@example.org August 17, 2012 8:20PM
Executive Pastor Bill Brown talks about the expansion that will be added to the east wall (background) of Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park, Illinois, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 20, 2012 6:02AM
Among the Southland’s largest churches, Parkview Christian in Orland Park serves as a place of worship for thousands of area residents and boasts strong programs serving children and young adults.
What’s missing, church leaders say, is a smaller venue for more intimate occasions, such as weddings and funerals.
As it prepares for its 10th anniversary in Orland, Parkview is gearing up for another growth spurt, and this time the expansion will be less utilitarian and give the church a softer look and feel, leaders said.
Orland Park trustees earlier this month approved plans for a nearly 39,000-square-foot expansion of Parkview, 11100 Orland Parkway, that will bring its total building size to just under 152,000 square feet.
Work will include construction of a 250-seat chapel overlooking an expansive outdoor plaza that will feature a prayer garden, fire pit and space for barbecue grills, Bill Brown, Parkview’s executive pastor, said.
“People don’t really want to hold a wedding in a 2,000-seat auditorium,” Brown said, noting the capacity of Parkview’s worship area.
The prayer garden might make a nice setting for wedding photos, while the fire pit and barbecue area could be a potential gathering spot for the church’s teen group, he said.
“We want to create some outside space,” Brown said.
Church leaders also see the project as helping to soften the building’s east exterior, which village documents related to the expansion project point out is “mostly a blank facade.” That side of the church faces the building’s main parking lots, which also will get some new landscaping touches.
“It’s pretty industrial-looking,” Brown said. “So many people don’t realize it’s a church.”
Along with the addition of the plaza and the chapel on the upper level, the imposing reddish-orange precast concrete wall will be softened with the addition of large glass windows, mirroring the building’s northern elevation, and parishioners inside the church will have a clear view of the courtyard.
The addition of the plaza will help “bring it (that face of the building) down to a human scale,” Brown said.
A decade of growth
Before moving to Orland Park in 2002, Parkview was on 84th Avenue in Tinley Park, where Standing Stones Church now is. In Tinley Park, the church drew about 750 worshippers, but that quickly swelled to 1,600 after the move.
Initially, Parkview operated from a 24,000-square-foot building, and an expansion in 2004 added nearly 89,000 square feet.
“When we moved in, we just needed space, so everything is pretty basic,” Brown said.
Today, some 5,500 people attend services at the Orland location, and another 500 worship at Parkview’s Lockport campus. The Orland Park location has two Sunday services during the summer but adds two Saturday services at the end of August. The church’s Sunday school programs serve 800 kids.
“The smallest service we have is 800 to 900 people” on Saturday, Brown said.
A future expansion would add 500 seats to boost capacity for services. Although that was included in what trustees approved Aug. 6, there are no immediate plans to enlarge the worship auditorium, Brown said.
Because the church, at the northeast of the intersection of Orland Parkway and Wolf Road, is near two major bike routes, the village also is requiring Parkview to provide parking spots for 30 bikes.
Wayne Krahn, Parkview’s chief financial officer, said the total cost of the expansion hasn’t yet been calculated.
“We’re still putting together numbers,” he said.
He said the church hopes to break ground by late September or early October and have the work completed by late summer or early fall of next year.