February 09, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

I’ve written a lot about churches that have a second life with a new use. There’s another narrative for an older church that’s loved and cherished but needs some upkeep. The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd built its present worship space in the 1950’s. In those days it was ok to put bathrooms in a separate building. There was no need to gather people together before and after worship, since many congregants lived within walking distance. So the master plan for the Good Shepherd campus included a new narthex addition along with significant repairs to the worship space.


The final stage of a multi-phased plan, the work to update the worship environment and build a new narthex is now underway. Our whole office took time today to tour the construction site together and to discuss the ongoing project. We noted that even a well-built building with basic maintenance and regular repairs still needs work after decades of use. The structure was seriously showing its age. The foundation had settled and the windows needed repair. Lighting, air-conditioning, and acoustics all needed to be addressed.


When completed, the narthex addition will include new bathrooms and support spaces. The renovations are taking place at the same time and will address the list of long-term repairs. The bonus will be a new element that wasn’t part of the original. A new organ loft will be included in the addition. Unlike many older worship spaces, this one will be refurbished and improved to serve a deserving congregation for another 60 or more years.


Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 3201 Windsor Road, Austin, Texas 78703

Church Design & Construction/ Austin