Building for God: Continuous rains in the area affecting some church projects more than others
Polk County Enterprise, July 2007
BY JAMES E. BAUGH
LIVINGSTON —Building fever has struck several Livingston churches in the last year and First Presbyterian Church is looking to be the first congregation to cut the ribbon on new facilities.
Ron Stephenson, FPC project leader, expects the church’s new recreation building to be in use by the beginning of September, just in time for the church’s 125th anniversary celebration in November.
The new 5,000 square-foot building will have a 2,000 square-foot main room which will serve as a meeting place for luncheons, dinners and other social activities. The space will also be used for several Sunday school rooms, a library and possibly a future nursery.
The project hasn’t seen any delays and workers even poured concrete in the rain, Stephenson said. “We’re way ahead of schedule.”
Things haven’t moved quite so quickly for Central Baptist Church. After many rain delays, workers at the site of Central Baptist’s new sanctuary began pouring concrete this week. The project is about a month-and-a-half behind schedule due to all the rainfall in the Livingston area, according to Jim Parrott chairman of Central Baptist’s building committee. The concrete should be poured by the end of the week.
Drainage issues also caused minor setbacks, said Parrott. The new site will require a retention pond behind the church’s garage before the project is complete. The city has installed two new storm drains on North Houston Avenue to control runoff.
Upon completion – currently planned for the first quarter of 2009 – Central Baptist’s 37,700 square-foot building will include a 1,100-seat sanctuary and classrooms along with the church library, which will move from its current location in the Ben Wellmaker Education Center on the church campus.
The church has no plans for the current sanctuary which has been in use since 1926. Members will address its future use once the new building is completed, Parrot said.
First Baptist Church of Livingston has just begun clearing 75 acres of land north of Livingston on the corner of U.S. Business 59 and Highway 146 for the future relocation of its facilities. Spokesman Kevan Wood said the first phase of construction will include a 42,000 square-foot main building which will house a new 700-seat sanctuary. This first phase is expected to be completed by the summer of 2008. The church is currently in negotiations to sell the present campus, parts of which have been in use since 1947.