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Mount Nebo UMC celebrates expansion

September 26, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • A cake was part of Sunday's festivities celebrating Mount Nebo United Methodist Church's three-story addition.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO -- When the Rev. Robert Brennan asked Rob Wetzel a few years ago to chair Mount Nebo United Methodist Church's Building Committee, Wetzel recalled thinking it would be an easy job.

After all, church members had been talking about remodeling or expanding for at least 20 years and nothing ever came of it, he told the congregation Sunday.

But the job wasn't that easy after all.

Approximately 200 people attended Sunday services, plus a ribbon cutting and dedication for the church's new three-story addition on South Main Street.

The expansion includes commercial kitchens, and a banquet room with a gymnasium floor and basketball hoops.

The new space will benefit the church and the Boonsboro community, said Wetzel and Stephen Koepp, chairman of the church council.

Several organizations have already talked to church officials about renting the large room, called the Family Life Center, for basketball, soccer and volleyball, Wetzel said. A wedding party will fill the space in December.

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"It didn't take long for word to get out about that space," Wetzel said.

There's a need for community center-type space in the Boonsboro area, he said.

The church will use proceeds from renting the space to help pay a $1.9 million loan, Wetzel said. The church also will host fundraising dinners and, in a year, will start a second three-year pledge for congregation members.

The expansion ended up costing almost $2.5 million, Wetzel said. The $600,000 difference between the total and the loan is being paid for with donations so the church didn't have to get a bigger loan, he said.

The church got a temporary occupancy permit for the banquet hall for Sunday's dedication, but Wetzel expects the regular occupancy permit to be ready by the end of the week.

If it was to grow, the church needed more room for its preschool and Sunday school, and music ministry, Wetzel said.

During construction, Mount Nebo UMC rented space at Victory Baptist Church for its preschool, Wetzel said.

The expansion includes 10 classrooms, a nursery, a parlor, gathering areas, offices and a choir room. The third floor is unfinished.

As soon as you finish building something, you run out of space, so it was cheaper to put on the third story now, Wetzel said. It can be completed later.

To make way for the new addition, an older three-story addition was razed. The smaller 1929 addition's spaces had an inadequate design, Wetzel said.

A groundbreaking for the new addition was held in June 2009, Wetzel said.

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