YMCA of Coastal Georgia Holds Ceremonial “Golden Sledgehammer Swing” as West Chatham YMCA Renovation Begins

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Pooler Branch to Transform into a Modern Wellness Center

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) As part of a broader effort to update and modernize the YMCA of Coastal Georgia locations, the transformation of current YMCA locations into health and well-being centers are beginning with Pooler’s West Chatham YMCA branch.

YMCA held a ceremonial “Golden Sledgehammer Swing” to commemorate the groundbreaking of the renovation project. During the event, pre-K students from West Chatham’s Child Learning Center gave a short performance.

Felder & Associates, a distinguished and award-winning architecture firm in Savannah specializing in historic preservation, commercial and high-end residential building projects, participated in the ceremony alongside West Construction.

“It’s been 20 years since the West Chatham YMCA was updated. So we found a multitude of opportunities to better use floor space to serve the core constituency better. We’re adding glass walls for openness and transparency; the childcare areas will be expanded into space for both younger and older children, and we’re adding more space for machines, cardio and free weights in the fitness area,” explained Brian Felder, Founder and Principal Architect.

“The YMCA is a pillar of our community, and with all of the growth in the Pooler area, the renovated West Chatham YMCA will have something for all walks of life. It’s a very forward-thinking endeavor for the Y,” said Matt West, West Construction Company.

The $1.6 million investment intends to address challenges faced by the community in the post-pandemic reality. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average body mass index (BMI) has nearly doubled in children. Additionally, 43% of Americans report having worse exercise habits than before the pandemic, and 31% report that financial hardship prevented them from seeking health care in 2021, according to a Gallup Poll.

As the modern YMCA pivots to an overall wellness focus, proven programs to prevent and control chronic diseases are given the same priority as physical fitness. In addition to expanded and updated exercise areas, the new YMCA will offer space for nutrition education and community peer support.

“We maintained an understanding of the bigger picture goal in making this a modern health and wellness center, so that played into our decisions on everything, from updating all surfaces, floors and ceilings — making them easier to clean and maintain — to ensuring the space we were repurposing was put to better use,” Felder added. “The fitness center is going to be better than many pay gyms in the area.”

While the YMCA’s flagship Habersham location is also slated for an upgrade, the volume at the West Chatham location compelled the YMCA board to start the renovations at the West Chatham YMCA. Opened in 2001, it was one of only a few businesses on its stretch of Pooler Parkway at the time. In 2021 it was one of the busiest of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia’s 10 branch locations, serving 6,757 members and 1,638 program participants who registered 121,839 visits over the course of the year.

“With this much-needed renovation, we’re looking ahead to the future and working to ensure that our facilities and services are ready to serve for the next 50 years,” says Joel Smoker, YMCA of Coastal Georgia CEO.

The project is expected to take approximately six months, with completion at the end of winter 2023.

“We’re a community-minded firm, so it’s an honor to work on a project like this. The YMCA is a foundational part of the Savannah area, and a lot of heart went into this. We look forward to seeing it through,” said Felder.

West added, “Our company enjoys projects that improve our community, and the YMCA makes us all better in so many ways. We’re excited to be on the team.”

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA
The YMCA of Coastal Georgia has been serving the Coastal Georgia community for over 167 years and continues to work every day to advance its cause to strengthen the community through its three areas of focus: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Today the YMCA of Coastal Georgia operates 11 units in Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties; included is the YMCA’s Before- and After-School Enrichment Program operating in 55 elementary and middle schools throughout the markets served. The YMCA serves men and women, girls and boys of all ages and from all walks of life. All of this and more is accomplished while putting forth the Y mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATES
Established in 2012, Felder & Associates specializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building, and neo-traditional building. The firm has a staff of LEED-accredited architects and interior designers who focus on sustainability. Locally, Felder & Associates is a member of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and Historic Savannah Foundation. The firm is also nationally connected in the American Institutes of Architects, the American Society of Interior Designers and the United States Green Building Council. Felder & Associates is a member of the International Interior Design Association. In 2014, Felder & Associates received a historic preservation award from the Historic Savannah Foundation and the best architecture firm award from Savannah Magazine. Felder & Associates recently completed the Greyhound bus depot in the Savannah historic district. The firm is located at 2514 Abercorn St. Suite 110, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call (912) 777-3979, or visit felderassociates.net.

ABOUT WEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
West Construction Company, established in 2014 and headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, is an award-winning, mid-sized commercial construction company built on a reputation of quality, integrity, and discipline. West Construction Company’s purpose is to build quality projects and quality people through trusting relationships, service to our clients, partners, and our community.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Managing Partner of Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

Felder & Associates Welcomes Matthew Luehrmann as Project Associate Prominent Savannah Architecture Firm Expanding Team to Include Ohio Native

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Felder & Associates Welcomes Matthew Luehrmann as Project Associate
Prominent Savannah Architecture Firm Expanding Team to Include Ohio Native

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Felder & Associates, a distinguished and award-winning architecture firm in Savannah specializing in historic preservation, commercial and high-end residential building projects, is pleased to announce that Matthew Luehrmann has joined the company as a Project Associate. Luehrmann’s chief responsibilities include creating plans for new structures, redesigning existing structures, drafting, site visits and evaluations, maintaining project files, and performing research.

Luehrmann studied at the University of Cincinnati where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Sculpture in 2017. He is currently studying architecture on an accelerated path through the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure at Savannah College of Art and Design, and expects to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture in 2023 and a Master of Architecture degree in 2026.

Matthew Luehrmann joins Felder and Associates.

“I’m glad to be part of a team that applies the collaborative skill sets of everyone in the company,” said Luehrmann. “Felder & Associates prides itself on elevated attention to detail, which helps us reach the design goals of our clients. I’m looking forward to learning on the job and contributing to this firm as I pursue my degrees.”

Prior to joining Felder & Associates, Luehrmann held internships at Platte Architecture + Design in Cincinnati, Ohio, and A&A Safety Inc. in Amelia, Ohio.

“I’m looking forward to working with Matthew as he grows in his career,” said Brian Felder, Founder and Principal Architect of Felder & Associates. “It’s always a positive experience to have the fresh perspective of a new member on the team. I think he’s a strong addition.”

Luehrmann is originally from Cincinnati and is the co-founder of the SCAD Chapter of NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architects) and a member of AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students). In his free time, he enjoys building computers, hiking and cooking.

ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATES
Established in 2012, Felder & Associates specializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building and neo-traditional building. The firm has experienced a 10% yearly growth for the past three consecutive years, and holds memberships with the Historic Savannah Foundation, the American Institutes of Architects and the United States Green Building Council. Recognitions include historic preservation awards from the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Excellence in Rehabilitation award, the Georgia Association of The American Institute of Architects Design Award in Renovation and a special judges’ award from Hospitality Design magazine. Felder & Associates is located at 2514 Abercorn Street, Suite 120, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call 912-777-3979, or visit http://www.felderassociates.net

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck, Managing Partner of Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

Historic Bull Street Baptist Church Undergoing Major Renovations

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Historic Bull Street Baptist Church Undergoing Major Renovations
Felder & Associates, Brooks Construction Group and Homes with Hart Construction in the Final Stages of “Beyond 2020” Project

(SAVANNAH, GA) With excitement, Bull Street Baptist Church announces the fruitful progress and final stages of a major renovation to their three interconnected historic buildings and parking lot located just south of Forsyth Park. The Church named this project “Beyond 2020,” looking forward and envisioning the strategic opportunities for ministry beyond 2020 that will take place in these newly updated spaces.

Under the direction of Felder & Associates, a distinguished and award-winning architecture firm in Savannah, and together with Brooks Construction Group and Homes with Hart Construction, the final renovations of a twelve year, multi-phase master plan of the 200,000 square-foot campus is coming to completion. “We have been entrusted with beautiful and historic buildings in the heart of Savannah and we are committed to faithfully stewarding these resources to the glory of God and the good of our congregation in a way that also blesses our city,” said Pastor Calvin Fowler. “The mission statement of the church, ‘Equipping people to know Christ and to tell of His amazing grace,’ remains the driving motivation of all of our renovation projects. Our focus as a church is on worship, ministry and missions. We understand that our spaces must serve these ends.”

Felder & Associates, Savannah Architect, Bull Street Baptist Renovation Construction Project
Felder & Associates, Savannah Architect, Bull Street Baptist Renovation Construction Project

The much-anticipated renovations to the original wood-framed structure built in the late 1800’s will be the new home to Bull Street’s college ministry called The Porch. For over two decades, the church has faithfully ministered to college students in Savannah, especially on the campus of SCAD. The ministry had its humble beginnings in the Church’s basement. It has grown through the years and continues as a thriving discipleship ministry to college students from all over the country and even all over the world.

Renovations to The Porch’s 6,800 square-foot building include exterior upgrades; a workroom geared towards art students; gallery space; modernized kitchen, bath and laundry facilities; as well as a two-story porch and an elevator tower. One of the most visually striking elements of this building is the second-floor ceiling, which has been raised nine feet on one side to provide a beautiful, open worship space for the students. The original interior doors and hardwood floors were restored to provide a stunning blend of historic and modern.

“Over the past twelve years, the Church has been working to create outstanding spaces for our ministry. It is important to us that they not only be beautiful, but welcoming and safe,” said Pastor Fowler. “When planning this redesign, we considered the needs of our entire congregation to make sure we are serving every age group, from our babies to our seniors. We wanted to honor the historic nature of both our congregation and our buildings, always trying to bring the old and the new together, and updating to serve the contemporary needs of a multi-generational congregation.”

Beyond 2020 also called for modifying the 9,600 square-foot educational wing. The three-story Bauhaus inspired structure was originally built in 1953. Exterior renovations were careful to respect the distinct features of the style while providing much needed window upgrades.

The third-floor renovations opened up the floorplan to provide a flexible loft space for the youth ministry. Other key renovations include a beautiful new check-in lobby that will function as a security checkpoint for the nursery, expanded and updated nursery space for more than 40 babies, a recording studio and a music library. The senior adult Sunday School classrooms and restrooms in the main building also received upgrades. Modifications to the educational building focused on upgrades to security, natural lighting, systems and classrooms.

“We are really excited about the basement of the education building, where we are adding a dedicated space for our new urban outreach ministry called The HOPE Initiative,” said Pastor Fowler. “Recording artist and gospel minister Harrold ‘Zion’ Edwards is taking the lead on this new ministry. The goal is to communicate the love of Christ through meeting pressing needs, while faithfully bringing the hope of the gospel to each person we encounter. Volunteer ministries such as ESL (English as a Second Language), GroceryShare, family mentoring, and more will operate out of the The Hope Initiative space. We also see opportunities to partner with local ministries and agencies by hosting workshops to address specific needs in our community.”

“When we first met with Pastor Fowler and the building committee, it was clear their goal was to honor the building’s rich history while we simultaneously create a beautiful and functional urban campus,” said Gretchen Callejas, project architect at Felder & Associates. “We made every design choice with this goal in mind, and the finished product is going to be something the entire congregation can be proud of for years to come.”

Callejas and her team expect the Beyond 2020 to be finalized at the end of this year after exterior renovations to include new site lighting, fencing, landscaping, parking upgrades and new corner signage have been completed.

Pastor Fowler sends his thanks to the entire building team; to the elders for their excellent leadership; to the congregation for their confidence, support, and excitement; and to the Building and Grounds Committee who have guided the project from the very beginning: Liz Fryman (Chair), Char-La Fowler, William Santiago, Faith Sherrod, Janice Talley and Glenn Burnsed.

ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATES
Established in 2012, Felder & Associates specializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building and neo-traditional building. The firm has experienced a 10% yearly growth for the past three consecutive years and holds memberships with the Historic Savannah Foundation, the American Institutes of Architects and the United States Green Building Council. Recognitions include historic preservation awards from the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Excellence in Rehabilitation award, the Georgia Association of The American Institute of Architects Design Award in Renovation and a special judges’ award from Hospitality Design magazine. Felder & Associates is located at 2514 Abercorn Street, Suite 120, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call 912-777-3979, or visit www.felderassociates.net

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

Christ Community Church Dedicates New Worship Space

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Christ Community Church Dedicates New Worship Space

(SIMPSONVILLE, SC) Christ Community Church of Simpsonville, S.C., dedicated its new and expanded worship space at 700 Harrison Bridge Road with a two-hour evening program and service. Felder & Associates served as the lead architect in partnership with the Aspen Group, a design firm that specializes in church construction.

The $2.8 million addition and renovation includes a new 5,700-square-foot worship facility that can seat 420 people, along with a new office addition of 1,320 square feet. The existing worship service was converted to “Third Place” space — a welcoming connecting space that includes a coffee bar and comfortable seating for casual gatherings, group meeting, dining and fellowship.

Features of the new sanctuary include a large platform, storage, new restrooms and new audio-visual capabilities.

“The revision to the existing campus was necessary as the church congregation is growing and suburban development is overtaking the church’s previously rural settings,” said Brian Felder, Felder & Associates’ managing principal. “Simpsonville, just east of Greenville, is a rapidly growing community and the streets around the church property are becoming heavily traveled, which meant the congregation needed to address the problem of traffic noise within the old worship space.”

The building features heavy timbers that protrude outside the structure. The building itself is of insulated concrete form construction — a choice made for its outstanding sound-dampening capabilities, high energy-saving capability, and improved ability to withstand high winds during storms.

For more information, please visit https://www.christcommunitychurchonline.org/

Christ Community Church of Simpsonville, S.C.

Christ Community Church of Simpsonville, S.C.

Christ Community Church of Simpsonville, S.C.

Christ Community Church of Simpsonville, S.C.

Christ Community Church of Simpsonville, S.C.

Christ Community Church of Simpsonville, S.C.

ABOUT THE ASPEN GROUP
Aspen Group is a ministry-focused design, build, furnish firm providing integrated solutions for new church facilities, additions, and renovations. Serving churches in the Southeast from their South Carolina office, and in the Midwest from offices in Frankfort, IL, and Carmel, IN, Aspen has been creating space for ministry impact since the early 1990s. For more information, visit https://www.aspengroup.com/

ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATES
Established in 2012, Felder & Associates specializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building and neo-traditional building. The company has experienced 10% growth yearly for the past three consecutive years. Felder & Associates is a member of the American Institutes of Architects, the American Society of Interior Designers, the United States Green Building Council and the International Interior Design Association, the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and Historic Savannah Foundation. The firm has been recognized with historic preservation awards from the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Excellence in Rehabilitation award, the Georgia Association of The American Institute of Architects Design Award in Renovation and a special judges’ award from Hospitality Design magazine. Felder & Associates is located at 2514 Abercorn St. Suite 110, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call 912-777-3979, or visit www.felderassociates.net

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Junior Partner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912.856.9075
cynthia@crussomarketing.com

Bishop Hartmayer blesses Corpus Christi worship space

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Bishop Hartmayer blesses Corpus Christi worship space

More than 300 people filled the worship space in the multi-purpose building for the blessing of the long awaited home for the Catholic Communty in Pooler.

In 2015, Fr. Gabe Cummings of St. Frances Cabriniand Barbara Goodwin began searching for a temporary location where a weekly Mass could be celebrated in Pooler. The Reverend David Wesley Lemburg, pastor of Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Pooler, opened its doors to the Catholic community and became the place where the faithful would gather.

Father Thomas J. Murphy, the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, Port Wentworth, was appointed by Bishop Hartmayer to establish the new community. The first Catholic Mass was offered on May 2, 2015 with a standing-room-only crowd. The group was named the Pooler Catholic Community.

After initiating a capital campaign under the leadership of co-chairs Barbara Goodwin and Dozier Cook, the members of the Pooler Catholic Communityraised the funds needed to clear ground donated by the Diocese of Savannah, at 1745 Benton Blvd. As plans for a new church were underway, the groundbreaking took place in October 2017.

On the feast of Corpus Christi, June 15, 2016, the Bishop announced that the new church would be named Corpus Christi Catholic Church— the Body of Christ.

The 17,000 square foot multipurpose building will be used for worship, pastoral offices and religious education. Future plans call for a sanctuary to be built at the location.

Felder & Associatesserved as the lead architect and R. W. Allenwas the commercial general contractor for the project.

ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATES
Established in 2012, Felder & Associatesspecializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building and neo-traditional building. The firm has a staff of LEED accredited architects and interior designers who focus on sustainability. Locally, Felder & Associatesis a member of the Savannah Chamber of Commerceand Historic Savannah Foundation. The firm is nationally connected in the American Institutes of Architects, the American Society of Interior Designersand the United States Green Building Council. Felder & Associatesis a member of the International Interior Design Association. In 2014, Felder & Associatesreceived a historic preservation award from the Historic Savannah Foundationand the best architecture firm award from Savannah Magazine. Felder & Associatesrecently completed the Grey restaurantin the former Greyhound bus depot in the Savannah historic district. The firm is located at 2514 Abercorn St. Suite 110, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call 912-777-3979, or visit www.felderassociates.net

Felder & Associates Launches New Website Designed by Speros

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Felder & Associates Launches New Website Designed by Speros

(SAVANNAH, GA) Felder & Associateshas just launched their redesigned website, felderassociates.net.

Designed by Speros, a full-service technology company in Savannah, the site has been restructured to better feature the architecture and design firm’s growing portfolio of work specializing in historic preservation, architectural design, project management, construction administration and interior design.

Felder & Associates New Website

“It was becoming more apparent the old website was not structurally well suited to showcasing our increasing number of photos and content,” said Brian Felder, the firm’s managing principal. “We wanted a site that better reflected our company’s character and standards and behaved consistently in different browsers. I’m pleased to say the Sperosteam was able to accomplish that.”

Lauren Dingus, Speros’ director of web design and marketing, updated the site’s visible aspects, first by repurposing a video highlighting various steps of the design process. It is now featured prominently on the home page and provides background interest while visitors browse through the site’s streamlined navigation menu.

Divided into three distinct sectors, Felder & Associates’ updated project portfolio features a variety of residential and religious projects, as well as some of the firm’s best known commercial work.

“We were able to create a more organized project portfolio and to assist viewers looking for specific work, as well as press releases and award information,” said Dingus. “The new navigation makes it easier for viewers to stay on the site while they move around and find the information they need.”

Felder & Associates’ updated website also includes information about the firm’s history and its growing team of associates, as well as a news gallery. For more information, visit https://felderassociates.net/

ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATES
Established in 2012, Felder & Associatesspecializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building and neo-traditional building. Felder & Associatesis a member of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, Historic Savannah Foundation, the American Institutes of Architects, the American Society of Interior Designers, the United States Green Building Council and the International Interior Design Association.

Recognition includes historic preservation awards from the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Excellence in Rehabilitation award, the Georgia Association of The American Institute of Architects Design Award in Renovation and a special judges’ award from Hospitality Design magazine.

Felder & Associatesis located at 2514 Abercorn St. Suite 110, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call 912-777-3979, or visit www.felderassociates.net

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Junior Partner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912.856.9075
cynthia@crussomarketing.com