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A Reimagined Courtyard

Jul 30, 2021

At the heart of The Loop Campus is the only outdoor gathering space other than playgrounds on the east and west sides of the property. Known as the Oasis Courtyard today, the space was formed over time as the original 1977 campus — with just the Worship Center and adjoining classrooms — expanded to include additional classrooms to the north, the Fitness & Recreation Center to the east, and the First Baptist Academy wing to the south.

Now — thanks to the generosity of the Houston's First family — we have reimagined a new life for this outdoor space and how it can better serve our church and the local community for ministry purposes, special events, and daily life. Look below for more renderings of what's to come!

What To Expect

Renovation work began on the Oasis the week of July 26, 2021, with the removal of various trees in the space. Over the following months, extensive work will be done to transform the limited-use space into an asset for our church and community. Among the amenities the new courtyard will include are:

  • A covered bandstand/stage for outdoor concerts and events
  • A large outdoor LED screen
  • An artificial turf lawn for outdoor play and with room for 500 temporary seats
  • A raised berm for recreational play and additional seating
  • New lighting, including overhead string lights
  • Covered awnings for seating on the north side (adjacent to Fellowship Center) and south side (adjacent to Oasis Room)
  • A small playground area and numerous play surface elements (rocks, play “cubes” to sit on, etc.)
  • New furniture throughout
  • New gates at the Oasis Rotunda to provide increased security

Imagine The Future

How do you see the reimagined courtyard being used going forward? Here are some ideas church staff members have in mind — not just for our church family, but for the community, too:

  • Worship gatherings
  • Movie nights
  • Concerts
  • Weddings
  • Picnics
  • Family playdates

We look forward to seeing how else this improved space can be used in ways it's never been able to be used before!

Renderings

Here's what this new outdoor space will look like once the transformation is complete. The renderings below are provided by Merriman Holt Powell Architects.

Lp Courtyard Renovation Rendering 3
Lp Courtyard Renovation Rendering 4
Lp Courtyard Renovation Rendering 2
Lp Courtyard Renovation Rendering 1

"What about the trees?"

The renovation project required the removal of 18 trees of various ages, sizes, and species. A few of the trees were taller than the three-story Worship Center and north wing of the church.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike toppled one such tree — a massive oak that fortunately fell toward the middle of the courtyard and not on our building. It took out some smaller trees as it crashed to the ground, too. Some of the remaining trees were showing signs of illness, or have had to be pruned extensively to prevent damage to the building itself or injury to people below.

Trees for HoustonThe reimagined version of the courtyard will include nine newly planted trees. In addition to these trees, Houston's First has made a donation to Trees for Houston — a local non-profit "dedicated to planting, protecting and promoting trees." Our donation will cover the cost of planting 20 trees throughout our city and nurturing and maintaining them for two years.

As a result of this renovation project, the local environment is gaining 11 trees:

9 trees planted + 20 trees donated - 18 trees removed = 11 trees added to our city

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