Paynesville Lutheran begins building project

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 4/12/00.

PLC digs Excavation for a $1 million expansion and remodeling project at Paynesville Lutheran Church started on Thursday, March 30. Block work was expected to be in full swing this week.

The church, located on the corner of Maple Street and Highway 55, was dedicated in 1984. A primary goal of the remodeling is to fix the leaky roof. Insulation will be added to the ceiling, which should keep snow from melting and ice dams from forming in the winter. Then the entire church will be reroofed.

Additions will be made to the west entrance, to the north side onto the fellowship hall, and to the education wing in the east. In the west, a new front door and a multipurpose room will be added. The church offices will be remodeled, and a larger choir room and better music storage will be created.

This addition is where the bell tower is presently located. "The bell tower is being moved to a more prominent position southeast of the church," said Peter Jacobson, congregation president, "so it will be seen more easily from the highway."

The addition on the fellowship hall will be a new entrance to provide easier access to the north parking lot. Some hoods will be moved in the kitchen, but otherwise the fellowship hall will not be touched.

Four new classrooms will be added to the education wing to accommodate Sunday school. The entire church will be air conditioned.

Wayne Hansen, building committee chairman, said the project is expected to be completed by the end of October. "Hopefully, if we don't run into any snags, that's when it'll be done, but you never know," he said. One unexpected job during the dirt work was the discovery of an old barn foundation of field rocks and concrete, which had to be removed. Even so, Hansen said the project was ahead of schedule so far.

Except for the roof, the sanctuary will not be affected by the project, enabling services to be held at the church throughout the remodeling. "We may have to walk around the piles, but we'll still have Sunday services," said Hansen.

"Sunday will still be a day of worship," he added. "Otherwise, everything will be torn apart."

Work will be scheduled to accommodate weddings, but unexpected occasions, like funerals, may need to be held elsewhere. The church has contacted both St. Louis Catholic Church and Grace United Methodist about using their facilities if needed.

Due to the remodeling, the church offices will be moving and Sunday school will end early. The last day of Sunday school will be this Sunday, April 16. After that, remodeling will begin in the education wing.

Because of the remodeling of their existing offices, the church offices will move in the next couple weeks to the former Activities Alive building on Co. Rd. 124 for the duration of the project. Volunteers from the church will be needed for packing, moving, and storing equipment of the church, said Jacobson. The church will still have the same phone number in its new offices 320-243-3624.

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