The Coast News Group

Church remodel makes headway with completion of playgroup

RANCHO SANTA FE — Another construction milestone was reached at the Village Community Presbyterian Church at 6225 Paseo Delicias on April 3 with the grand opening of a custom-designed 9,000-square-foot playground.
The playground is part of an ongoing $16.5 million campus development project.
“The signs of progress are all around us and the completion of the Village Church discovery play yard is a tangible step toward our shared vision of a glorious sanctuary and church campus,” said Jack Baca, senior pastor of the 50-year-old Rancho Santa Fe church. “Most excited, of course, are the nursery school children, Sunday school children and children throughout the community who will enjoy riding, climbing, sliding and playing here.”
Designed by Deneen Powell Atelier, Inc. with Domusstudio Architecture, the nature-themed playground features rounded boulders, rolling turf, Eucalyptus logs salvaged from the church site and other natural materials. According to landscape architect Jon Powell, “nature has been included in separate play yards for children of varying ages, with extensive landscaping providing a year-round variety of flowers, colors and insects for the children to discover.”
Linked to the toddler play area by a shared tool shed and vegetable garden, the preschool children enjoy playful challenges like a steeply sloping rubberized surfacing, inclined tree trunks and a patch of partially buried boulders, natural-themed re-creations for standard metal play equipment. Preschoolers also have a wet sandbox along a walkway at the bottom of a grassy slope. Back uphill are a dry sandbox, tricycle path and space for a future grape stake fort. An open paved play space and a quiet zone with shaded tables assure that children can have different play experiences.
Demolition crews arrived at the Village Church in September 2008 to raze much of the 1950s-era sanctuary. In early February, the church’s Building Committee received the permit to begin construction. To date, the foundation for the new sanctuary has been poured, the underground utilities are installed and the retaining walls are going in.
Designed by Domusstudio in a Lilian Rice “Spanish Revival” style, which fits with the Rancho Santa Fe Village character, the new sanctuary is expected to be completed in May 2010, according to Don MacNeil, chairman of the Building Committee for the Village Church. ROEL Construction Company is the general contractor. The church is planning a cross-raising ceremony in August, according to Baca.
Once the sanctuary/administration building is complete, the church plans a second building for the church campus, also designed by Domusstudio Architecture. No date has been set for the start of construction of the two-story, 9,876-square-foot Christian Education Building to be used primarily for Sunday school.