In about nine months, the congregation of Elmira’s Woodside Bible Fellowship will be able to see exactly where the money they have donated over the past three years has been going. Following a groundbreaking ceremony Sunday at around 12:15 p.m. (after the church service), construction will begin on an addition to the facility, a $2.1-million project that has been in the planning stages for several years.
The church welcomes about 700 adults and children on any given Sunday, and $1.5 million for the project has been raised solely from within the congregation.
“It has come in the form of pledges, people just gave what they felt they could afford to give to the project,” said project steering committee chair Noah Weber.
Included in the renovation plans are a full-height, full-size gymnasium, new change rooms with showers and washroom facilities, a new lower foyer and rear entrance, a café, a youth room and the associated parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping and fire sprinklers.
Prior to the start of construction, the planning committee held information sessions allowing the congregation a chance to view the plans and ask questions about the project; the process was a collaborative one.
Weber said the project could not come at a better time.
“We have been very crowded in some of our ministry areas, especially the Sunday school and the youth ministry – both of them have been very busy. We need to get some of the other ministries out of the Sunday school area so they can use that space.”
Staff at the church are eager to get the project started, said Weber, adding they may even be able to start ripping up some of the asphalt before tomorrow’s ceremony, which is open to everyone.
“All the permits and the paperwork are finally in order. We hope everyone can come out and celebrate with us at the groundbreaking.”