Pathfinder Church finds an Easy Way to Update Exterior Entrances

Originally dedicated in 1959, the home of Pathfinder Church has seen a lot of change in the last half-century. A couple of major additions were added as membership grew along with the community, and several minor refresh projects were undertaken along the way. But by 2013, with changes in technology and worship styles, the time had come for a major update to the sanctuary.
Included in the renovation plan was the removal of two walls flanking the stage, which would expose to the seated congregation, a view of two emergency exit doors. At some point more than twenty years ago the original doors were replaced with Special-Lite SL-16 Aluminum Flush doors. These doors, while a little beat up, were still perfectly functional, but in their newly exposed locations, they needed to be replaced. Having enjoyed decades of trouble-free service from the SL-16 doors, Pathfinder naturally wanted to stay with Special-Lite Doors for the replacements.

Preparing the Openings for New Doors

The original hollow metal frames were still structurally sound but had shifted over the years to become out of plumb and square. Removing the frames carried the risk of damaging adjoining original brick and block walls, which would require expensive repairs and delays in a very tight project timeline and budget.
To prepare the exterior openings for new doors, Special-Lite Insert Frames were used. The insert frame sits inside of, and anchors to, the existing hollow metal frame, which allows it to be shimmed as required to bring each opening back to a plumb and square condition.
Old door and original frame on left, new insert frame on the right
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Insert frame and capping system

The Perfect Door–Either Way You Look At It

With the inside of the new exterior doors immediately adjacent to the pews, our SL-19 Rustic Wood Grain Door was a natural choice, in an oak stain finish to match the woodwork in the sanctuary. But for the outside of these doors, our SL-17 FRP door with through-colored face sheets matching the exterior trim was the better choice. Fortunately for Pathfinder Church, Special-Lite can do that. The new doors installed were hybrid FRP doors that meet their needs perfectly.
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Exterior view of new door

Application:
Worship Facility
Location:
Portage, MI
Products:  

SL-19 Rustic Wood Grain FRP/Aluminum Hybrid Doors

SL-17 Pebble Grain FRP/Aluminum Hybrid Doors

Insert Frame with Capping System

Special-Lite Customer:
Reliable Glass Installers
Special-Lite Sales Representative:
The Eisen Group

More:

Download Pathfinder Case Study PDF
The Landing: Creating an Experience One Door at a Time
Fire-Rated Doors 101
How to Refinish Wood Grain FRP Doors

Doors that Brand: The Making of a Winning Entrance

Do you need Doors that Brand your building? Follow the making of a Winning Entrance

In March, we completed our #inoticedoors hashtag photo contest, and we announced the winning photo by Mike of The Lazzaro Companies: an entrance at Peoples Bank in Highland, IN.

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A Winning Design

This entrance is unique, featuring not only curved framing but also curved muntins that complete the circular shape. Where the curved muntins run thru the door– completing the circle design– vertical muntins begin and travel down to the bottom rail. What an intricate design!  Also notable– the vertical framing above the entrance echoes the lines of the inactive middle leaf. These are not your typical bank doors!

Arches with Curved Framing in Production

Little did anyone know, this entrance had caught our eye much earlier on! We had several projects coming through production with beautifully curved framing in December.

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Any project with curved framing results in a show-stopping entrance– but it wasn’t until I saw the drawings that I knew this would be an entrance that brands a building!

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An Entrance that Brands a building– and Endures

Many Peoples Bank locations feature a similar or nearly identical design with a circular shape and arched framing. However, this is the first to feature Special-Lite entrance products. According to Mike Nolan at The Lazzaro Companies, the original drawings called for aluminum-clad residential doors to suit the overall look the designer wanted. However, Mike advised the bank that Special-Lite was the way to go for this opening. Mike had experience using Special-Lite products in the past. He understood that residential doors do not accept commercial hardware well. In addition, residential doors are certainly not as durable as commercial entrance systems. With support from the contractor, Larson-Danielson, Mike worked with the engineering department at Special-Lite to come up with the opening you see in the photo.

Every entrance product at Special-Lite is made-to-order. This enables us to make a one-of-a-kind entrance such as this one, that stands out and communicates your brand. We love helping organizations create an entrance that leaves a lasting impression on all who enter!

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Elephant Doors: Swing Open Frame Units

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Extra Large Doors Big Enough for an Elephant!

Do you have large equipment you need to move in or out of your building? Do you have a showroom where you regularly rotate large promotional items, such as trucks or cars? Will you need to occasionally move a large animal, like an elephant, from one building to another? If you shook your head YES to any of these questions, Special-Lite has your solution!

We celebrate Special-Lite’s dedication to bringing engineered solutions to you. We employ entrance designers and skilled craftspeople because we know that our customers sometimes need something out of the ordinary.

Elephant doors represent one such example. Just look at how we met this customer’s need.

Showroom Entrance Solution

You need to move large objects in and out without resorting to ugly roll-up doors.  Indeed, function does not have to trump aesthetics. Working with Special-Lite, a showroom found the perfect solution.

Collaboration between building owner, sales representative, installer, and Special-Lite resulted in a custom designed, large commercial opening, with all of the functionality and design appeal desired. The design uses an aluminum frame system that can swing out of the opening for ‘moving’ day, yet integrates manually operated or automated doors for everyday use! In this case, the side hinged frame sections and doors are equipped with continuous gear hinges for ease of use and durability, eliminating the need for trackways and side clearances. The frame units are locked down with flush bolts on top and bottom when closed to provide added security. You have the option for removable center posts for rigid support in securing the doors.

 

Beautiful Doors with Secret Superpowers!

Special-Lite® Elephant Doors provide a brilliant solution for accommodating the passage of large objects in and out of a facility. They are perfect entrance solutions for shopping malls, convention centers, sports arenas, dealership showrooms, zoos, and museums.

 

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Intrigued? Meet with one of our Special-Lite Reps and find out what we can do for your building!