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Bethel adding three floors, gym

April 23, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Members of the growing Bethel Assembly of God have broken ground on a 19,000-square-foot addition that includes a gym and three stories of classrooms.

The addition is expected to accommodate the 1,100-member church at 515 E. Wilson Blvd. "for the immediate future," said Pastor Terry Broadwater.

He said he and others at the church had been pushing for the addition for more than a year.

"We had been talking about and realized it was something we really needed to do," he said.

The present Assembly of God building includes a 1,300-seat sanctuary which is 10,000 square feet, a Christian education wing measuring 40 feet by 80 feet and a 100-by-80 assembly hall.

The $850,000 project will be financed with bank loans and contributions by parishioners, he said.

"People have seen the need and been very supportive," said Broadwater, who has been pastor at Bethel Assembly of God for about a year and a half.

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The new construction will take place on land already owned by the church, which sits on 6.5 acres, he said.

Broadwater said the church's gym will be considered a multipurpose room that will host sports events, dinners, youth events, a coffee house, dramas, special services and banquets. It will hold from 600 to 700 people. The church's present hall holds 250.

He said the gym will be comparable in size to some high school gymnasiums at 100 feet by 65 feet.

The classroom space will add more than 12,000 square feet, he said.

"Educational space is our greatest need," Broadwater said.

The church broke ground on the addition on March 26 and the building's footers and headers are scheduled to be put in place this week, Broadwater said.

He said he expects the project to be completed by fall.

Along with the building construction, the church is expanding its parking lot to add 100 spaces. When finished it will have 350 to 375 spaces, he said.

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