Read an Excerpt
Building for Security
One of my many jobs in my twenty-two years in the Navy was that of an 'inspector general' of an engineering component of the Department of Defense. My duties included evaluating the project that was designed by the Navy and completed by a contractor. Early in this tour, I became deeply concerned about the wide variance between the cost that was estimated for a job and the actual money given to a contractor at the completion of the job. I discovered that the vast difference was due in part to the poor design by my organization's engineers. Bidding contractors would look at the blueprints and specifications and find the numerous flaws and then bid low, knowing that after they were awarded the contract, they could get change orders written. Their profit was not in the contract but in the numerous costly change orders granted.
Now my momma didn't raise a dummy. That was my daddy's and my own tax dollars that were being wasted! I told the engineers that they had to create excellent working documents and that the contract would be built exactly as they designed it---with no change orders granted. What's more, I told them that if errors existed after the project was completed, they would have to go in after the fact and fix it themselves. It took a few poorly designed jobs for them to realize that I was for real. In time the Navy started getting its money's worth on contracts.
PLAN AHEAD FOR SECURITY
I learned an important lesson in this experience: The design is important. And, most important of all, it costs a whole lot more to go back in and fix something after the fact than to do it right in the first place. As a member of a church, I have served on three building committees, and as a professor of administration, I have consulted with numerous other churches about their building program. Guess what issue is not on the top of their list of concerns for the building program (actually, most of the time it doesn't even make the list): SECURITY. Everybody has their own agenda: The deacons and elders want to know how we're going to pay for it; the pastor wants to know if it will look good; the parishioner wants to know if the seats will be comfortable; and on and on it goes. Even the media personnel are typically not concerned with the security of their expensive equipment, just with the need for it to look good and to sound good. Before I discuss issues relating to good building techniques with security in mind, I want to deal with the important issue of planning.
ASSIGN A WORK GROUP TO STUDY SECURITY ISSUES
Even though this book's main focus is not on planning for and erecting a church building, the topic must be briefly introduced. Most building programs begin with a perceived need, then a study group is formed to visualize the perception, and finally a building committee is created to plan for the building project---whether new construction or remodeling. To ensure that the project glorifies God and not human beings, I would strongly suggest that individuals who serve on these groups be church leaders (including the pastor) who have a vision for the church and community and who are spiritually attuned to the church's mission. Let's give the name 'Project Steering Committee' to this latter group. We'll use the term steering to indicate that this group controls all facets of the project from design to construction to paying for it.
Each member of the steering committee will be assigned leadership in the development of several subcommittees that will see the project details through. One subcommittee may be assigned the role of acquiring land, another the role of overseeing a finance campaign, while still another the role of generating publicity for the project. A subcommittee will be formed to work with the architect in the design of the facility, possibly another subcommittee to work with the builder, and maybe even another to select the furnishings for the new facility.
It is at the subcommittee level that work groups need to be formed. The steering committee provides general and spiritual leadership. The subcommittees provide general and practical expertise. The work groups become subelements that research and recommend specific details for the project. For example, in the design of a sanctuary, who best to recommend media requirements to the design subcommittee than a work group composed of individuals who are familiar with the equipment, who will operate it, and who will have to answer to Aunt Maude when she complains that the music is too loud. Note the following chart of how the Design and Construction subcommittee might use work groups for a sanctuary remodeling project:
I strongly recommend the formation of a work group of persons who are familiar with security systems and resources that aid in the design of secure facilities, as well as those persons who have practical knowledge in security measures. This group becomes the research foci for dialogue with community and law enforcement agencies that have offices that can help in the practical aspects of the design. These work group members go online to the hundreds of sites that describe security systems and measures. They observe and evaluate existing systems and talk with the people who operate them.