The crisp morning air may have been chilly but the spirits of those attending a groundbreaking ceremony held at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waconia on Sunday, May 5 couldn’t have been any warmer.
Faith Lutheran held the ceremony to mark the start of a major building and renovation project, which includes the complete redesign and renovation of the church’s education building and the construction of a new fellowship hall and administration building that will link the education building to the rest of the campus.
“We’re all very excited about moving forward with this project,” said Pastor Travis Gerjets, who was speaking on behalf of Faith Lutheran’s leadership staff. “A lot of people have been working really hard to get to this day. “It’s nice to see the planning process come to an end and the building process begin.”
The redesigned education building will feature 20 classrooms along with several other spaces, including a large multi-purpose room. The building will also receive new windows, doors and roofing.
“We’re bringing it up to better standards and more efficient use of the space,” said Pete Marnie, who is acting as a liaison between the church and the construction company that’s working on the project.
The new fellowship hall and administration building will be located on the western side of the property and will add approximately 7,000 square feet of new space to the campus. The fellowship hall, which will be connected to the church’s sanctuary, will feature high ceilings and offer seating for 225 people.
The administration building, also being called the “link building,” will feature office space, a new reception area, a library, and a fireside room. Marnie said the renovation of the education building is starting this week and is expected to be finished in late August. Work will begin on the fellowship hall and administration building in the coming weeks and the space is tentatively scheduled to be finished in October.
The project will cost approximately $2 million with funding coming from a successful capital campaign.
Gerjets said the project would create opportunities for Faith Lutheran and the community, as well.
“It’s not just a building project for the people of Faith Lutheran, but it’s a center for service for the wider community,” he said. “It was nice to get there and celebrate with our community (at the groundbreaking).”
Faith Lutheran is no stranger to major building projects.
In 1970, the 141 member congregation of Faith Lutheran made its home in the Isaak Walton League building near the shores of Lake Waconia. Only seven years later, Faith Lutheran had grown to about 600 members and moved to its current home on Waconia Parkway N. In 1991, the church added a new sanctuary. Unfortunately, that space ended up having mold problems and was replaced by the current sanctuary in 2004.
Faith Lutheran currently has about 2,600 members in its congregation.
Marnie said the long-term plan was to connect the sanctuary and education buildings but the congregation knew it would have to be completed in phases so there is a lot of excitement to be at this point.
“The members are excited to see it come true and move in,” he said. “This will complete the campus. There won’t be another square inch (available as the property is) pretty tight, but it’s a great location. People are really happy. They’ve been waiting for this for years.”
Marnie said the project is “pretty well coordinated” and the church’s normal activities shouldn’t be too affected. For instance, construction equipment will be moved on weekends to help facilitate parking.
To learn more about Faith Lutheran, visit www.waconiafaithlutheran.com.
Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]