HURON — Church council members, building committee members, staff from general contractor Picek Construction Company, Inc., and Rev. Tom Christenson sported the shovels as Hope Lutheran Church broke ground on a new addition to the church facility on Nov. 10.
The church is located at 1667 Frank Avenue Southeast in Huron.
“Visioning on this project began as the church looked to our future in our current facility,” says Hope Lutheran church council president Jared Reno. “We put together two committees: one to envision what a transformed church building would look like, and the second to plan how to fund the facility. Those committees put in many hours going over potential plans and costs of those plans before presenting them to the church body, and this plan was the church’s top choice to move forward.”
Hope’s new addition will allow for significant improvements in accessibility, expansion of fellowship area, expanded bathroom areas, and more direct access to the pastor’s and church secretary’s office from the main entrance. The project will also include improvements to the sanctuary, chancel area, and the audio/visual system throughout the church, and other general upgrades.
The new addition will run parallel to Frank Street and includes additional paved parking. Crews from Picek Construction have already completed work on the expanded parking and begun work on the footing for the addition, which has a general target of July 2020 for project completion.
The catalyst for the project is to allow the church to be more accessible throughout by getting the fellowship area from the basement to the primary addition area, including an expanded kitchen and more usable space in the fellowship area, allowing congregants for events such as weddings and funerals more moving space during time in the fellowship area.
The addition will also create a combination chapel and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant classroom/conference room. This will give Hope Lutheran a space for small baptisms or weddings with the ability to be changed into a ADA-compliant classroom for any Sunday School class that would have need for that room. Finally, ADA-compliant men’s and women’s bathrooms will be added.
Moving the secretary’s and pastor’s offices will allow for better service for the congregation as both will now be positioned near the main entrance to the building. This will allow for better service as well as providing the church better security. Coming into the main entrance will be through a new entrance that will provide double doors for security and weather protection.
By moving current walls, the sanctuary and narthex will both be expanded. This will allow for added seating in the sanctuary and more space for fellowship before and after services.
Hope Lutheran Church was initially formed in May 2011 and officially joined as a member church of Lutheran Churches in Mission for Christ (LCMC). Building committee co-chairman Tony Lorenz sees this expansion as a sign of the church’s intentions in the Huron community:
““Hope plans to stay in Huron a long time, and this addition is a commitment from our congregation to the faith community in Huron.”