Select Page

Golden Methodist Church Project


Downtown Golden has a long history with flood risk associated with the north-flowing waterway, Kenney Run. The goal of this short project was to focus in on a specific area of Kenney’s Run which flows underground through the First Methodist Church parking lot near Ford Street, and consult with the church on what actions they may take in regards to mitigating this flood risk so that they may develop some of the land they own within the floodplain, while also providing the church with information regarding other plans of developing Kenney Run from other key stakeholders. This is the first part of a many semester long project which plans to result in improving much of the church’s land and infrastructure.

Live Zoom Chat (NEW LINK)

Use the link below to join us live from 8:00 – 10:30 a.m. on April 29th

Topic: Design Showcase
Time: Apr 29, 2021 08:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap: 16699006833,93205670806# or 12532158782,93205670806#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll) or +1 253 215 8782 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 932 0567 0806
International numbers available:

Or a H.323/SIP room system:
H.323: (US West) or (US East)
Meeting ID: 932 0567 0806


Team Members

  • Vincent Hough
  • Ryants Hoang
  • Saltanat Kassymgaliyeva

The Client

  • First Methodist Church


Project Advisor: Dr. Leslie Light

Technical Advisor: Dr. Kristoph Kinzli, Prof. Jake Kurzweil




Elevator Pitch

Much of downtown Golden is currently sitting in a floodplain of the Kenney Run waterway with a significant risk for a 100 year flood event. Kenney Run, is a waterway running north through the majority of the city of Golden. One building in this floodplain is the First United Methodist Church, who requested our team to gauge the different options available to them in order to mitigate this flood risk, while also benefitting the community. The First United Methodist Church has many future plans on improving their church campus including greenways and renovating the buildings themselves, all of which will be covered in future senior design projects. However, this flood risk needs to first be addressed before any of these plans can be made. The Kenney Run waterway flows underneath the western side of the church’s parking lot, and as a result has a high probability of damaging the church property during a 100 year flood event,

For this shorter project, our team used information provided by our stakeholders, research of other similar cases, as well as software such as the National Storm water Calculator in order to inform the church on what options would be the most feasible for their site, and what benefits and drawbacks they would likely see from these options.Through this project the church was able to make an informed decision on what would be the best approach to mitigate their flood risk in the near future.

Design Approach

In order to gain a better understanding of the site the Golden Green Team would be consulting about with the Golden Methodist Church, our project began with a site tour enveloping much of the City of Golden along important points within the Kenney Run Watershed. While our site of concern was a 100ft stretch of Kenney Run running underground through the church’s parking lot, we and our client’s believed that it was first important to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire Kenney Run watershed. 

Following this site tour, several different directions were taken in order to ensure the most possible information was available to give The Golden Methodist Church the best recommendations possible in regards to future steps in mitigating flood risk. Firstly, using other similar areas as a reference, many mitigation options, ranging from on site retention to flow splitting were explored. Once these methods were found, data we collected through communicating with several parties including the Mile High Flood District describing the site characteristics, as well as cost considerations were used to narrow down our options to the ones that suited the church the most optimally. 

The options which the team decided to focus on were the implementation of permeable pavement, and opening up the channel itself (daylighting). Once these options were decided, all future work was dedicated to providing the Golden Methodist Church with the necessary information regarding these methods as well as the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with each one. Finally, the team used this information to recommend the best options for the church to consider moving forward.


Design Solution

The team recommended two different options for the Golden Methodist Church to consider, the first of which was daylighting. Currently, one of the major constraints inhibiting the church is the money to fund a mitigation project, however through communicating with several engineers within the City of Golden and the Mile High Flood District, the team has found that Golden is already planning a large, multi-million dollar daylighting project over a half mile stretch that enveloped the church’s parking lot. This method would also allow for greater community benefit, due to the improved aesthetics and potential recreation this method provides. Not only this, but it would also be highly effective at mitigating the 100 year flood risk not just within the church lot but throughout all of downtown Golden other words, if the church were to do nothing, this would likely be the result: a daylighted channel, and as such there would be no monetary concerns. The biggest drawback with this method would undoubtedly be the church’s lot being halved.

The second option was a design proposed by our team which would entail replacing most of the impermeable land within the church lot with permeable pavement. Using EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator to model this design, the runoff was projected to decrease by roughly 15% using this method, which would be effective in reducing flood risk in the immediate vicinity. The main drawback with this method is the cost, which using the SWC, was estimated at a median value of $160000, meaning funding would become a heavy issue. These two options are considered by our team to be the most effective in solving the 100 year flood issue within this site. 


Next Steps

In the future, work will need to be done to address the other desires of the clients, mainly in regards to designing new infrastructure and other remodeling projects the church is planning. As such, our consulting work done is only the initial steps in a long design process, and this work will be addressed in the following semesters. 

Meet the Team

Ryants Hoang

Ryants Hoang is a senior in Civil Engineering who has an interest in land development. Despite not being much artistically inclined himself his interests normally relate to art, writing or music. Not creating them for the most part, but rather analyzing them to understand some of the hidden meanings and decisions that the creator made. He is also currently attempting to self teach himself a new language.

Vincent Hough

Vincent Hough is a senior in environmental engineering with an interest in hydrology, which is why he chose to work on this project. He is interested in design that ensures human safety while also minimizing environmental impacts. 

Saltanat Kassymgaliyeva

Saltanat Kassymgaliyeva is a senior in Environmental Engineering with an interest in hydrology and air pollution. She is interested in real life environmental issues related to ecosystem and sustainability. Her goal is to spread awareness and optimism about environmental issues in water and air pollution. Salta also enjoys embroidery and planting.