Christ Church United Methodist is having a homecoming celebration with activities planned throughout the weekend, including tours of newly renovated space.
The portion of the building that was refurbished is a section built in 1954 that survived a 1969 fire. With the exception of a first-floor chapel, the rest of the Christian Education Building was completely redone as part of a $2.8 million project.
A tour of the facility reveals the scent of fresh paint, colorful surroundings and generous windows. It all looks brand new.
"It was our time to renovate it," said Dayton Carpenter, chair of the board of trustees and building coordinator. "We got the congregation together and said, 'It's our time to make this a special place for children and families.' We wanted a special place where children and families would want to come."
The first floor has 4,465 square feet used for choir rooms for children and adults, office space, and kitchenette.
The second level includes 11,500 square feet and houses Sunday school classrooms, a large community meeting room, The Growing Place preschool, and pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds. Inviting colors include cheery shades like sky blue, green, yellow and purple. Carpet is green with a brown path leading to the classrooms. Security cameras and doors that lock from the outside have been added for safety.
The gym is on level three, where old bleachers have been replaced with new ones that can accommodate wheelchairs.
A spacious basement is the gathering place for youth with a kitchen, comfortable areas for sitting and game tables. A cross is built into the carpet in one area while the kitchen floor is done in blocks of purple, orange and green.
Older windows in the building were refurbished by artist Chris Dutch, who also created some new windows. These are all now double-paned for energy efficiency.
A new heating and cooling system allows temperature to be controlled in each room. There is a new sprinkler system and an elevator offering access to every floor.
The Rev. Randy Flanagan, lead pastor, said the building is geared to be energy efficient and safe while offering the latest in technology. He said the church has received $2.3 million in pledges toward the cost of $2.8 million. He is grateful to Carpenter and many volunteers who saved the church thousands of dollars by doing things like tearing out old bleachers or refurbishing locker rooms.
Carpenter offered a long list of those involved in the project. Among these were Wiseman Construction, Progressive Electric, Harris Brothers, Brewer & Co., Astar, ZMM Architects & Engineers, Cornerstone Interior, W.Q. Watters, Keith's Kitchens, and Randy Allio of J.R. Creations.