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Pleasant Hill has green in long-range plan

{mosimage}Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Indian Land has had a long-range master planning study completed by WGM Design, an architectural and land planning firm in Charlotte with an eye on energy-savings and the environment.

Pleasant Hill UMC has a long-term view in a rapidly growing church. With a membership of more than 500 and taking in as many as 16 on one recent Sunday, money for the new building may come sooner than expected. Finding enough pew space is already a problem for Pastor Michael Ritter at the church sitting less than two miles from the N.C. border. ¨“It’s a very loving church,” Ritter said, and active in Family Promise, a program to help those in need.

Located on a 5 .5-acre site on Fort Mill Highway, the master plan includes a new family life center, a new sanctuary, and expanded classrooms for children, youth and adults. The buildings also will include spaces to support the church's ministry programs.

Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Indian Land has had a long-range master planning study completed by WGM Design, an architectural and land planning firm in Charlotte with an eye on energy-savings and the environment.

Pleasant Hill UMC has a long-term view in a rapidly growing church. With a membership of more than 500 and taking in as many as 16 on one recent Sunday, money for the new building may come sooner than expected. Finding enough pew space is already a problem for Pastor Michael Ritter at the church sitting less than two miles from the N.C. border. ¨“It’s a very loving church,” Ritter said, and active in Family Promise, a program to help those in need.

The land is sloping but Ritter said, “We’re using what God is giving us.” Using the sloping hill to save energy; one full side and part of the sides will be tucked into the hill, taking advantage of both the Earth’s warmth and its coolness. “What we worry about is how it fits into the land first and foremost,” said William G. "Bill" Monroe, AIA and principal at WGM Design.

Monroe likes to say he’s a proponent of “common sense environmental design.” He and his firm design a lot of private schools and churches. The schools are always concerned about green building; churches rarely bring it up, he said.

Pleasant Hill’s plans call for low VOC (volatile gasses and chemical compounds) materials.

While going green mean natural lighting, Monroe said studies now show that “children perform better if you give them daylight.”

Phase I of the estimated $7.5 million project will be a family life center; next will come renovations of the current building; and finally a new sanctuary.

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