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Cover Story - October 2007

The 2007 Colorado Construction Gold Hard Awards

Outstanding Religious Facility Project

Gold Hard Hat Award

  • First Congregational Church
        Phase II, Restoration and Addition

    Submitted by Fransen Pittman General Contractors
    First Congregational Church  Phase II, Restoration and Addition

    Organized in 1864, the First Congregational Church of Boulder is Colorado's oldest existing Congregational Church. The Gothic Revival structure featuring hand-carved stone walls and pointed arch tracery windows was completed in 1908 and designated an historical landmark in 1975.

    Faced with a growing congregation and aging building systems, the church began Phase II of its master plan in January 2007. Phase II encompassed a complete interior renovation. Even the original organ pipes will be restored. The mechanical and electrical systems have been upgraded and integrated with systems in the neighboring Christian Education Building (Phase I).

    During demolition, the team found five cracked structural support trusses that endangered roof integrity. The team added support brackets that necessitated careful removal and replacement of the original wood trim.
    In the basement, the new design required demolition of what was discovered to be two load-bearing walls. The floors around the walls were shored, followed by temporary scaffolding and installation of new I-beams to carry the load.

    In addition to the structural challenges, tests revealed asbestos in the plaster walls throughout the building. Substantial asbestos abatement required extensive modifications to the original schedule. 

    Maintaining historical landmark status requires the exterior appearance to remain unaltered; however, Phase II also encompasses infilling the 5,000-sq-ft courtyard between the original church and Christian Education Building for space for three classrooms, a lobby and hallway. A courtyard is being constructed on this structure. 

    The congested jobsite in downtown Boulder required that only one subcontractor at a time access work areas on the foundation and shell infill areas. Great care was taken to preserve the historic building's original stained glass and exterior façade.

    First Congregational Church
    Phase II, Restoration and Addition


    First Congregational Church of Boulder


    Slaterpaull Architects Inc.


    JVA Structural Engineers


    Fransen Pittman General Contractors

    Among the Subcontractors:

    M-Tech, Duro Electric Co., Total Plumbing Inc., Code Fire Systems Inc.,
    Carrasco Kube Cabral, Eatherton Masonry Inc., Restoration Specialists Inc., Mato Inc., Ball Plastering Co. Inc., C&S Drywall Inc., Taylor Painting Inc.


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