A time to remodel
by JaNAE FRANCIS
Standard-Examiner staff email@example.com
WASHINGTON TERRACE -- A $1.1 million remodeling project at Community United Methodist Church, 163 W. 4800 South, started in March with a demolition effort.
Contractors started by taking down the entire east wing of the church.
The effort began with contractor Brad Barto, of Plain City, allowing one of the oldest members of the church to hit the building with the first blows of a wrecking ball.
Corky Donovan, 82, was an accomplished heavy-equipment operator in his day, said Bob Brace, chairman of the church's building committee.
"A number of us assembled and watched him in the cab for about 15 minutes," Brace said. "He brought down the most. We were real proud of Corky. It's amazing what he has done with this project."
Lynn Woodward, office manager at the church, said it was hard to see the east wing go, but members were excited to move on at the same time.
Woodward said the new east wing will include a large multipurpose room that will be used as both a gymnasium and a theater. Also being built into that addition are a kitchen serving area, a nursery, a conference room and an adult classroom.
"We're hoping to be in it in September when people get back from vacations," Woodward said.
"It's a bit squishy right now, but it won't be too long," she said.
As soon as this effort is completed, another phase of reconstruction will begin.
This second phase will involve rebuilding the fellowship hall on the west end to include two floors.
The top floor will be the church's education wing, with classrooms for students of all ages, and a music room for the choir and bell choir to rehearse in.
The bottom floor will include administrative offices, a new kitchen and separate shower facilities for women and men.
Woodward said the church sometimes gets requests from groups passing through town from places like Colorado and California, who want to stay overnight at the church.
"We're real excited to offer better amenities," Woodward said.
She said the showers would have come in handy last year when some nearby residents were displaced by an apartment fire.
"They couldn't spend the night because we didn't have any showers," she said.
The changes were designed by South Ogden Ridgeline Design Architects.
The plans don't include any reconstruction for the sanctuary.
A decade ago, church members thought they would expand with a new building in South Weber.
More recently, they decided to sell the land to pay for an expansion in their existing building.
"It was 10 years in coming from when we first bought that property," Woodward said.
Members have participated in pledge campaigns for all that time, trying to raise enough money for the expansion, she said.
"We hoped to one day get enough money to use it," she said.
Brace said church members are excited to now have raised half the money to complete the project. More fundraisers are planned in the future.