SACRED HOUSE OF WORSHIP BUILT FOR THE COMMUNITY
(Photo: BAPS Long Island Hindu Temple)
MELVILLE, NY- (October 10, 2016) H2M architects + engineers was pleased to participate in the celebration of the grand opening of the H2M designed Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Samstha (BAPS) Long Island Hindu Temple on Deshon Drive in Melville, that took place Sunday, October 9th, 2016. Close to 2,000 people from the Long Island Hindu Community flocked with enthusiasm for the dedication of the first temple of its kind here on Long Island that addressed a need for the growing Long Island Hindu Community.
The ceremony on Sunday called for the BAPS monks to demonstrate the blessing of the Hindu idols, which were carved from wood by skilled craftsmen in India and shipped to the U.S. BAPS monks from India made the trip to Long Island to perform the dedication in order to officially make the temple sacred. This dedication by BAPS monks is what makes this place special. Without it, the temple is nothing more than mortar and brick. The dedication of the Hindu idols captures the spirit of god, making the temple sacred to the Long Island Hindu Community. BAPS is one of the largest Hindu organizations in the United States, and in the world. They have built impressive temples around the world, and are very excited for the completion of the first Hindu Temple on Long Island.
“Not only is the building itself impressive, but to see the quality and hand craftsmanship of the Idols and all the intricate detailing that goes into creating something like this shows how much pride all the members have in what they accomplished.” added H2M’s Project Architect Edward Stattel.
The BAPS Long Island Hindu Temple project called for an effort from a full H2M team, involving Civil Engineering, Architecture, Structural Engineering and MEP Engineering. H2M was involved in the initial site development and design of the Temple. H2M worked closely with the BAPS development team to come up with a 49,000 sq. ft. two story house of worship for the Long Island Hindu Community. H2M attended town board, planning board, and zoning board meetings early on in the process. H2M worked with BAPS to prepare construction documents for permitting, bidding, and construction purposes. H2M also assisted with construction administration throughout the entire process and assisted in acquiring the Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
“We expressed early on in the design process BAPS had unrealistic budget expectations on what they would be able to accomplish for this site. It wasn’t until this day did I believe we underestimated the amount of selflessness and generosity they would see from the local Hindu communities. The overwhelming collaborative efforts of all volunteers, BAPS and H2M made this project a success. It’s all about enriching their souls, being able to contribute a little piece in the overall development of their new Hindu temple is inspiring. You can’t help walking away with a sense of pride in what was accomplished here. I am extremely proud to have been a part of it and to have had the pleasure of working with the BAPS Development team.” said H2M’s Sr. Project Architect Robert E Ikes III.
The real beauty of this project was the large involvement from the Long Island Hindu Community to make this idea a reality. Without the large number of volunteers from the Long Island Hindu Community, the construction of this house of worship would have never been completed. There was no experience needed for volunteering, and the turnout of volunteers to help with the construction process was inspiring to everyone involved. The project filled a huge need for the growing Long Island Hindu Community because it’s the first traditionally built Hindu Temple on Long Island. The project helps over 60,000 Indian families on Long Island, changing their dynamic, and introducing a new temple, creating an alternative from one that was about an hour away from their homes. The nearest temple for these families is in Flushing, Queens, and the facility is not conducive for the growing Hindu population. The building is small, in need of improvement, and ultimately could not satisfy their current needs.
Many of the Hindu Community volunteers explained to our H2M team that you cannot put a value on this building, because it is in your heart, and the temple created a sense of pride, contribution, and selflessness among the Long Island Hindu Community. The effortless collaborative effort for this project between the Long Island Hindu Community, Industry Professionals, the BAPS Development Team, Suffolk County, and the Town of Huntington made the Deshon Drive temple a huge success.
(Photo: H2M’s Edward Stattel, Michael Bonacasa, and Robert Ikes III with BAPS Monks)
H2M is a full-service consulting and design firm offering the expertise of more than 290 architects, engineers (water supply, civil/site, structural, M/E/P, wastewater and environmental), planners, designers, inspectors, surveyors and scientists. H2M meets the challenges associated with buildings and infrastructure and has been serving various markets throughout Long Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut for over 80 years. For more information, please visit www.h2m.com.
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