(GRAND RAPIDS, MI) – More than 300 church members and project partners gathered Sunday morning to break ground on a major addition and renovation project to one of the area’s longest-standing church communities. Funded by a $5.8 million capital campaign, Trinity Lutheran Church's fellowship addition will commence in early April as the yearlong building project gets underway.
“We begin today with an Order of Thanksgiving and Blessing, with remarks from Trinity leaders and project partners, with groundbreaking and with a vision for caring for and improving our home for worship, fellowship and service,” said Senior Pastor, Robert Linstrom. “Four years of planning now progresses into active construction as we seek to care well for our nearly 60-year old facility and pray God’s blessings on this significant project.”
The project will be constructed in three phases, to accommodate ongoing church activities. The new work is designed to unify an evolving congregation that supports multiple worship styles for different generations. By opening up existing space and creating a new fellowship area the church will bring the congregation together by not only connecting physical space, but also by fostering relationships. A new centrally located youth space shows the church’s dedication to encouraging growth in the Lutheran faith among the younger generation. On the exterior, a new entry promotes a sense that all are welcome. Once in the space, members will experience a user-friendly environment with clear way finding and intuitive adjacencies.
The capital campaign also funded $1 million of exterior work that has already taken place; the restoration of the church’s iconic cross tower and parking improvements were complete in 2017.
Phase 1: Fellowship Addition
The first phase involves infilling the church’s lower-level courtyard to create a new 2,900 sf fellowship space. The fellowship area will feature cathedral ceilings with clerestory windows, a central glass-paneled staircase leading to the main floor, and an open wall connecting to the Rejoice Worship area. Adjacent renovations to existing spaces will also be completed during Phase 1.
Phase 2: Rejoice Worship Space Renovations
The second phase marks a complete renovation of the Rejoice Worship area featuring a new acoustical cloud ceiling, new stage area with integrated theatrical lighting, and an inductive hearing loop system beneath the flooring to provide better worship access for the hearing impaired. The space will also receive new flooring, paint and finishes throughout. Phase 2 overlaps with the timeline of Phase 1; both phases will be complete at the same time.
Phase 3: New entrance and corridor transformation
The third and final phase of the project includes a new entrance on the west side of the building and architectural vestibule, opening up an existing corridor for direct access into the new fellowship space, and final reconfigurations for better traffic flow. The Traditional Worship area will also receive upgraded lighting.
Alongside church task forces and committees, many local organizations have played a role in developing this project. Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. is providing construction management services; Progressive AE is the architectural firm. The building project is scheduled for completion in 2019.
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