Our church building is old and in town. Parking space has always been limited and it is not possible to get into the auditorium without going up a flight of stairs. We tried to make some accommodations for our wheelchair-bound member by building a ramp on the outside of the building. But the restrooms are in the basement which presents another problem.
We bought the building from the Church of the Brethren in 1973, after they built a new facility down the street. The house next to the church was their parsonage. When they decided to sell it in 1976, they gave us the first opportunity to buy it. We bought it and rented it for many years.
At least 20 years ago the suggestion was made to remove the house or annex it to the church for additional space. The wheels of change turn very slowly! But about two or three years ago when the last renter moved out, the talk became serious and a building committee was formed. We began collecting money for the building fund while they worked through the red tape involved in permits and other requirements.
This spring we are finally ready to go ahead and begin. The first step is to dismantle the house to make room for the new addition. It will be handicapped accessible and include restrooms on the auditorium level and also several classrooms. The existing building will also undergo some remodeling which will include the air conditioning that has been talked about almost as long as the addition. We won't gain much parking space but the building should be greatly improved.
Work on dismantling the house will begin tomorrow. I took some pictures of the house on Sunday before the work starts. I'll probably be posting more pictures through the year as the work progresses. This is how it looks today (with the dumpster ready to fill) but it will begin to disappear tomorrow.
South side of the house
Back of the house