The sign reading “future home of the Gale Presbyterian Church” will be in place a little longer on a piece of vacant land on Barnswallow Drive in Elmira. While the church had hoped to have a new building ready for next fall, that timeline has now been pushed back.
The move has been delayed largely because the church has run into trouble selling the old building.
The idea had been to move to a new building by Oct. 10, but steering committee co-chair Kim Denstedt indicated that the spring of 2011 may be a more realistic estimate.
“There is no way to know how long it will take to sell something like a church building,” explained Denstedt. “We have got a very unique building here so we might have to alter our expectations for selling.”
The church has stood on Cross Street in Elmira since 1864. It’s undergone many changes in its long life at that location, but challenges such as a lack of parking have encouraged parishioners to explore the idea of relocation.
The fundraising from within the congregation for the new project has been going exceptionally well, said Denstedt, adding she hopes it will continue until the new building is complete.
“We are a very motivated and excited congregation, and we hope to keep the momentum going.”
In 2009 alone, the church raised more than $183,000 through the sales of apple pies and the organization of several community events. Gale now has more than $750,000 in the bank and current investments. Denstedt estimates that there is still about another $1 million to complete the project, noting that she doesn’t see the project as having ‘slowed down,’ but simply adopting a more realistic timeframe than the optimistic goals they had previously set for themselves.
“We have known all along that the goal we set for the start of construction was pretty aggressive, given what other churches have experienced when going through something like this.”