A dramatic 75,000-gallon, salt-water aquarium greets worshipers at the Inspiring Body of Christ Church (IBOC) in Dallas.
The aquarium was the dream of IBOC pastor Rickie Rush turned reality by Fort Worth design/build company GL Barron Company, a full-service general contracting firm that provides fully-integrated design/build or stand-alone construction and specializes in worship facilities and faith-based communities throughout Texas.
The end result is so astounding it was showcased on an episode of “Tanked,” an Animal Planet television series.
“To be recognized in this way is exciting,” says GL Barron founder and president Greg Barron, “but that’s not our goal when we start projects such as this. Our goal is to create a special experience for the congregation, no matter how big or how small.”
For Barron, the idea of turning the entry of a church into a 90-foot aquarium was just another opportunity to showcase the company’s creative talent.
“We are known for our ability to come up with unique solutions no matter the size of the project,” says Barron. “So when Pastor Rush approached us with the idea, our answer was ‘of course!'”
The aquarium was a part of a $40 million project for Barron which designed and built the entire 176,000-square-foot worship facility that is the cornerstone of the 36-acre IBOC campus. More than 7,500 members and visitors attend services at IBOC each week.
The aquarium was constructed simultaneously with the building and took just over two years to complete. The installation, which was done by Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, required two cranes and 10 workers. Inside are more than 80 species of salt-water fish.
Being featured on “Tanked” is just one more recognition for the GL Barron project, which over the past year has received honors such as the TEXO Distinguished Building Award for Design Build over $30 million and the State AGC Award for Best Design Build Project over $30 million in 2010.
This article was originally posted on Commercial Integrator’s sister publication Worship Facilities.