The Forum at Greater Atlanta Christian

The new “Long” Forum on the campus of Greater Atlanta Christian School presented many opportunities and challenges. The program asked for a variety of functions in one multi-purpose facility. Basketball, volleyball, daily chapels, church services, concerts and banquets are some of the many functions planned for the facility. The final design can seat 2,800 for sporting events and 3,400 for events with seating on the floor. The main performance space is surrounded by a formal two level lobby on the north side with entrances at the northeast and northwest corners and a formal lobby/transition level at the upper level south side with an entrance at the southwest corner. Locker rooms and support spaces are located at the lower level to each side of the main court with mezzanines on top providing upper level seating. All bleacher seating is retractable providing even more multi-use space. The athletic director’s office suite is located on the fist level off of the main lobby. A broadcasting classroom suite is located on the upper level and includes classroom, edit rooms, studio and broadcast booth. This provides for both classroom learning and a/v control for the facility that includes three cameras and two 12’ x 20’ projection screens.

The site we had to work with was very tight and required the relocation of the main connection drive through campus. The Forum is directly adjacent to the existing church and Ministries Building. We developed the south upper lobby as a connector to all three buildings. The west exterior side of the building allowed us to develop exterior court/plaza areas for students to use during free time as well as creating pedestrian connections to critical points on campus. The buildings exteriors consist of brick veneer w/ cast stone accents that tie in with the surrounding campus. The structure is a steel frame and includes bow string trusses that span 120’ over the court area. The HVAC system consist of a chilled water system distributed to PIU’s with electric heat. The main performance space has both indirect lighting for assembly events and direct light for athletic events.

The facility has been a huge success for GAC. In it’s first week of operation the Forum hosted the grand opening, homecoming basketball games, student concert and a funeral.

Norcross, GA
Gross Square Foot
Cost/Square Foot
Greater Atlanta Christian School
Construction Finish
Jan. 2009
Construction Start
Nov. 2007
Construction Cost
$15 Million