Need help creating a new Template File for BP Corporate

I'm starting a new thread on this issue to clarify some confusion that came from this thread: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/two-issues-with-the-bp-corporate-theme

What I want to do is use the 3-column layout on my homepage, but without the constraints that BP Corporate puts on me as the user. Currently the only way to get the nice layout is displayed here http://themetastic.com/buddypress/?wptheme=BuddyPress%20Corporate is to use the built settings and 'recent posts' assigned as the front page. The featured slider is also pretty restrictive because it is only designed to feature blog posts, not pages. There doesn't seem to be a built-in workaround for it since it relies on post categories and pages cannot be assigned a category. However, I can get by this simply by using another slider plugin.

I use a static page for my home page and I do not want to feature my blog posts on my front page. I also want that 3-column layout to be available to static pages. This means creating a template file.

I've started on this, but having no experience with creating themes or templates, I only manage to hack it together and make a mess of things.

I'm pulling together templates and code from various files from BP-corporate, but I only get halfway there. So far, I've pulled code from index.php; home-sidebar.php (which has the code for the three sidebars I want); and home.php. I'm not getting this, so I could use a hand at it.

This is what I have so far, and I'm getting error after error with it.

<?php
/*
Template Name: 3 Column Widgets
*/
?>

<?php get_header(); ?>

<div id="post-entry" class="single-column">

<?php do_action( 'bp_before_blog_home' ) ?>

<?php if (have_posts()) : ?>

<?php locate_template( array( 'lib/templates/wp-template/headline.php'), true ); ?>

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

<div <?php if(function_exists("post_class")) : ?><?php post_class(); ?><?php else: ?>class="post"<?php endif; ?> id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>">

<h1 class="post-title"><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark" title="<?php _e('Permalink to', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN); ?> <?php the_title(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h1>

<?php do_action( 'bp_after_blog_home' ) ?>

</div>

<?php
/*
begin sidebars
*/
?>
<div id="side-entry">
<?php include( TEMPLATEPATH . '/options-var.php' ); ?>
<div id="center-column">

<?php if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar(__('center-column', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN )) ) : ?>
<div id="text" class="widget widget_text">
<h2 class="widgettitle"><?php _e( 'Center Column Widget', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?></h2>
<div class="textwidget">
<?php _e( 'Please log in and add widgets to this column.', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?>
&nbsp;<a href="<?php echo get_option('siteurl') ?>/wp-admin/widgets.php?s=&show=&sidebar=sidebar-2"><?php _e( 'Add Widgets', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?></a>
</div>
</div>
<?php endif; ?>
</div>

<?php if($bp_existed == 'true') { //check if bp existed ?>
<?php if ( $bp_front_is_activity == "true" )  { ?>
<?php } else { ?>
<div id="right-column">
<?php if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar(__('right-column', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN )) ) : ?>
<div id="text" class="widget widget_text">
<h2 class="widgettitle"><?php _e( 'Right Column Widget', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?> </h2>
<div class="textwidget">
<?php _e( 'Please log in and add widgets to this column.', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?>
&nbsp;<a href="<?php echo get_option('siteurl') ?>/wp-admin/widgets.php?s=&show=&sidebar=sidebar-3"><?php _e( 'Add Widgets', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?></a>
</div>
</div>
<?php endif; ?>
</div>
<?php } ?>
<?php } else { ?>
<div id="right-column">
<?php if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar(__('right-column', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN )) ) : ?>
<div id="text" class="widget widget_text">
<h2 class="widgettitle"><?php _e( 'Right Column Widget', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?> </h2>
<div class="textwidget">
<?php _e( 'Please log in and add widgets to this column.', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?>
&nbsp;<a href="<?php echo get_option('siteurl') ?>/wp-admin/widgets.php?s=&show=&sidebar=sidebar-3"><?php _e( 'Add Widgets', TEMPLATE_DOMAIN) ?></a>
</div>
</div>
<?php endif; ?>
</div>
<?php } ?>

</div>
<?php do_action( 'bp_after_blog_home' ) ?>

<?php get_footer(); ?>