This weekend, June 8/9, marked the opening of the “Big Stairs,” a new, giant staircase that leads to the third floor from the Atrium at Willow Creek’s South Barrington campus. And with the opening comes an improved check-in flow for Promiseland students in grades 2–5.
Rather than escorting their children upstairs and checking them into their individual classrooms, parents now can check in their children through the secure Atrium portal, located at the base of these wide, kid-friendly stairs.
“Once checked in, parents can still walk their kids upstairs if they wish, or kids can then (lovingly) ditch their parents and run up the Big Stairs to their classrooms on the third floor, where friends and leaders await,” says Promiseland Director Bryan Cheney. “The Big Stairs streamline the check-in process for parents, makes it easier for us to provide security, and has the added benefit of being a fun space for kids to explore. The Big Stairs have landings along the way, creating natural places for kids and families to gather.”
“Safety and security are foundational values for all ministries affecting kids, students, and vulnerable adults at Willow,” says Matt Sundstedt, Willow's CFO and director of operations. “And when we can find a solution that increases security and makes life easier for parents, it’s a win all the way around.”
Next up: Atrium remodelWith this project complete, Willow’s remodeling crew turns their eyes to the Atrium itself, where temporary space was created for kids during the recent Promiseland remodel and stairway construction.
“This Atrium hasn’t had a significant renovation since 1992—that’s 27 years! So we’re excited about giving it an update,” Matt says. “We’re adding new gathering spaces, including soft seating and living room–style circles where conversations can happen and groups can connect.”
“The Atrium remodel will be complete in time for the Global Leadership Summit on August 8 and 9,” says Matt. “Our construction crews and Trades team have worked hard to create beautiful, safe, functional spaces for us to enjoy. We’re grateful for how they use their creative gifts to serve our church in such practical ways.”