CES Dover & PowerComm: 42,000 Feet from the Ground Up

Reading Time: 3 minutes

What’s 42,000 square feet, built from the ground up, and completed in about 8 months? The Lifehouse Church in Delaware that CES Dover and PowerComm just finished.   

“GGA construction asked if we could do a design build for a 42,000-square-foot church,” said Brian McAnulla, the co-owner of PowerComm. “We got started in November, had engineered plans in December, and finished it by their August deadline.”

When you’re on a tight deadline and an even tighter budget, that can make the pressure worse. Not for Brian McAnulla and his crew.

“A project like this should take a year or more, but they needed the church’s daycare up and running in August, so they had a lot of contractors working on this job practically non-stop,” he said. “Luckily, Delaware was one of the states that didn’t shut down construction during COVID, so we made sure to work quickly but also safely.”

From Day One to Year Three

When Branch Manager JC Hughes found out that PowerComm got the job, he knew they were going to have no problem coming together as a team to wrap it up on time — even if it meant working around the clock.

“Lifehouse Church was all from the ground up. There were no plans or specs involved,” Hughes said. “On a job like this, you find out really quick who you can work with and who you can trust. Brian’s team knows that if they need something at 9 p.m., they can call me and I’ll answer.”

It’s been that way for 3 years now, even before CES Dover opened their doors for business. 

“PowerComm did the data portion of our building before we opened, so we’ve been working together since day one,” he said. “We’ve gone from putting Cat 6 cable in the walls of my branch to doing a design build from scratch for Lifehouse Church.”

Really, From the Ground Up

When Hughes said they did this from scratch, he really meant it.

“We originally started the project without a lighting design,” he said. “We had to go underground with the conduit, the panels, and the switchgear. All that has to be figured out ahead of time before you get it in the ground.”

If it’s not figured out before the concrete goes in, well, you can’t exactly make adjustments as you go along.

“The fact that we got the engineered plans in a month is unheard of,” Brian said. “We called Digital Filaments, an architectural lighting team out in Pennsylvania. No one in Delaware could get it completed fast enough.”

Thanks to the prompt planning and design by Digital Filaments, both PowerComm and CES Dover could keep working with confidence. They knew the design they put to paper was going to make the community and Lifehouse Church happy — even if they couldn’t exactly tell how it was going to look straight from the plans.

“42,000 square feet is probably the biggest I’ll go,” Brian laughed. “This job was massive, and there are so many different aspects to it and so many people to communicate with to see what’s liked and not liked. It just makes it that much more important to be working with teams and vendors you can trust.”

Personal Service for PowerComm

That’s where CES Dover really pulled their weight. The job had a tight budget and there were a lot of delays as manufacturers were shorthanded throughout the pandemic, but CES Dover was there every step of the way.

“That’s why I like working with CES,” Brian said. “You have a personal relationship with the teams you work with. It’s still business, but the way CES always goes above and beyond for their customers is part of the reason we were able to pull off a massive design build project like this one under a tight budget.”

For Hughes, walking through Lifehouse Church makes all those months of hard work well worth it. What used to be just studs and concrete is now a massive church that spans nearly a full acre.

“Seeing everything come together is always my favorite part,” he said. “You see it on paper. You can visualize how it’s going to look. But there’s nothing like watching it go from studs and concrete to what it is now.”

Sign up for our top stories and latest industry news

Sign Up

Start typing and press Enter to search