The Hunt Building has served us well for decades. The Campus Vision Team originally planned for its renovation to achieve several goals: create more adult classrooms; consolidate all offices into one collaborative area; enhance Elliott Hall for worship and other uses; improve flow; and substantially increase gathering space. These goals, however, could not be met due to the building’s structural configuration, primarily the widely varying ceiling heights in Elliott Hall. And performing renovations to attempt to work around these limitations would still not solve a key long-term challenge with which the Campus Vision Team was tasked–providing a large amount of on–campus parking.
After considering many different options, the Campus Vision Team eliminated all but one because they were too costly, too complicated, or presented too many potential obstacles to future growth. The one option that best met all the competing priorities, could be accomplished within our existing footprint, and offered an opportunity to transform HP Pres for the next 100 years was creating Hunt 2.0.
Updated February 15, 2018. The second floor of Hunt 2.0 will feature a new state-of-the-art space for our Music Ministry. Designed to provide a visually and acoustically inspiring place for our musicians to prepare for worship leadership, this rehearsal venue will serve as the central base for our music ministry. It’s location at the heart of Hunt 2.0 will make it readily accessible for all and supports our commitment to worshipping God with the best of our hearts and minds.
Hunt 2.0 creates a new front door to our campus with a grand entrance and patio along University Boulevard that echoes the one in front of the Sanctuary. This entrance leads to a large, light-filled gathering space that also provides a direct, indoor connection to the Sanctuary and children’s building. Hunt 2.0 also eliminates the current bottleneck at the porte cochere on the University side by creating a new, safer drop-off location on the west side of the building along Shannon Lane. This drop-off point will improve traffic flow and provide much more convenient and direct access for vehicles traveling to the campus along McFarlin Boulevard.
Hunt 2.0 mitigates a major, longstanding issue for our congregation–the lack of safe, secure, on-campus parking–by providing a two-level underground garage with approximately 150 spaces. The underground garage will substantially improve access to all parts of our campus, as well as removing a significant amount of traffic from neighborhood streets. Ingress and egress for the garage will be located at the southwest corner of the building near McFarlin Boulevard, with the security door and down ramp contained completely within the footprint of the building, thus hiding it from view of the surrounding neighborhood. Access to the floors above will be available via a grand staircase and elevators.
From the new front entrance facing University Boulevard and down its entire eastern side, Hunt 2.0 will provide a wealth of vibrant, light-filled gathering space that connects seamlessly to the Rhodus Garden outside, and which dramatically improves the ease of getting from the west side of the campus to the Sanctuary and children’s building. Wide corridors that include a grand staircase rising from the parking garage, a welcome station, coffee bar, and furnished conversation spots, all bathed in the light provided by 20-foot-tall walls of glass, will substantially enhance the ability for all generations to gather and build community. This grand corridor also serves as the point of entry to an all-new and reoriented worship space in Elliott Hall. The total space for gathering and passage increases from 8,200 square feet to approximately 13,200 square feet.
Hunt 2.0 also more than doubles the number of adult classrooms, from 5 to 12, and sizes them more appropriately for current and future ministry requirements. Perhaps more significant, they will all be located together on one level above Elliott Hall and connect to a new rooftop balcony, which provides more opportunities to build community and fellowship. Hunt 2.0 also enables nearly all staff to be consolidated in new, modern offices that enhance collaboration, teamwork, and creativity.
Hunt 2.0 will transform Elliott Hall into a bright, fresh, and open room that is designed to substantially enhance the Hall Worship experience and to provide critical multi-purpose space for our largest gatherings and conferences. A raised stage will be moved to the west wall, thus enabling a more comfortable and intimate seating arrangement for worship, while the entrance to Elliott Hall will be located along the east side, which will bathe the space with natural light from the new, wide glass-walled corridor just outside its doors. With 22-foot high ceilings throughout the space, new audio and video systems, an adjacent catering kitchen, and direct indoor access from all parts of our campus, the new Elliott Hall will provide even more, and better, opportunities for all generations to worship, gather, and connect.
One of the most important elements of Hunt 2.0 will be its ability to provide a more cohesive, integrated, and welcoming experience by improving the flow from one end of our campus to the other. Removing tight doorways, creating direct, indoor access to the Sanctuary no matter where you are on campus, and generating a new connectedness to the Highland Kids Ministry Building will eliminate barriers to ministry and help create an environment that is more attractive to all generations.
One of the most important elements of the Transform initiative is the creation of a more open, vibrant, and connected environment for our Highland Kids ministry, Highland Park Presbyterian Day School, the Hillier School, and two Boy Scout troops, all housed in the Highland Kids Ministry Building. The addition of approximately 7,500 square feet will enable us to provide brand-new environments for 5th and 6th Grade ministry, add new classrooms, and create direct, easily navigated indoor connections to the Sanctuary and new Hunt Building.
A fresh, new, and larger welcome and check-in center will be created inside the circle drive entrance off Park Street, enabling a more logical and direct flow to Highland Kids classrooms. Additional security systems to ensure the safety of our children will also be installed.
Our growing early childhood ministry will gain three new rooms on the first floor, all designed to meet the needs of our youngest members. All other classrooms will receive substantial updates and renovations, including new lighting, carpet, paint, furniture, and A/V equipment. Not only will this enable us to provide an even more attractive and welcoming space for our children’s ministry, but it will also enhance the educational environment for our Day School and Hillier School ministries.
Our student environments will be transformed from the ground up to support the ministry that is taking place today. This part of our campus will include flexible, multi-use spaces that help to usher middle and high school students into deeper and more impactful ministry opportunities. From the new, visible, and welcoming entrance, to the retractable walls that can transform three separate rooms into one large gathering space, the Bell Center will be reimagined to build the next generation of Christ followers.
HP Pres is blessed with an abundance of outdoor garden and play spaces for the young and young-at-heart. The Transform initiative will make these areas even better, safer, and more inviting. We are updating the best of our existing facilities, and installing all-new and modern equipment that creates additional ways to interact and play. With the other modifications and additions to the Highland Kids Ministry Building the interior courtyard and playground areas will also be safely and securely enclosed.