David Huffman, pastor of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Little Hocking, Ohio, envisioned an organic design for the church complex, "a structure that would fit the site and be an integral part of the terrain," says architect Gerald Shremshock, of Shremshock Architects, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. The 23,000-square-foot facility was designed to be flexible, efficient, and expandable to meet future needs. Three building elements cluster around one side of the prayer garden: the sanctuary in the middle, a banquet hall on one side and an administration-education building on the other. The 16-month project had its challenges. With no square corners in this building, the unique floor plan and use of angled openings and wall sections made careful workmanship a top priority. Scaffold was needed around all four sides of several panels. The large masonry panels in the sanctuary, unsupported during construction, and the tall, narrow window openings prevented the panels from being tied together structurally. Heavy reinforcement was needed to support the panels during construction, before the supporting roof structure was placed. Masons placed vertical reinforcement in the block cells and horizontal crossbars across the cavities. Both masonry wythes were laid simultaneously, and grout was poured as the wall was laid. Blowouts were a construction concern. Managing the wall construction and grouting were the greatest construction challenges. The bell tower, with even thicker walls is designed as two concentric C-shaped walls with a 20-inch-wide, fully-grouted cavity, capped on the open end. Bell openings towards the tower's top have tapering precast lintels that required a crane for placement. Jamb openings were also angled, so that the openings become wider towards the top. The parish considers the building a great success, as does the community. In 1998, the new church center earned the Overall Excellence Award in the Ohio Concrete Masonry Association design awards competition.