By KIM ESTES, Four Points News
Austin Baptist Church will break ground on Oct. 25 for a $10.5 million expansion project to add more than 47,000 square feet to existing facilities, plus a 3,500-square-foot outdoor playground.
Dr. David Procter, executive pastor, said the project started this month and has a completion date of next fall.
Facility construction includes two classroom buildings. Specifically, a two-story education building on the east end of the existing structure will have 12 children’s classrooms and an assembly area on the ground floor. The second level includes a dozen adult classrooms.
“The other building, south of the existing structure, will provide space for our largest adult Bible fellowship group. There also will be additional parking for 188 vehicles,” said Procter.
Finally, ABC will add a 3,500-square-foot outdoor playground. Specifics are unknown. “We will probably work with a playground company on that,” said Procter.
“We have an indoor playground now and it is the most popular room in the building. In fact, people from the neighborhood come over to use it during the day. It’s a gathering spot but the church is not always open,” he said.
To finance the expansion, ABC conducted a fund drive early in 2015 to raise $3.5 million in cash. Members pledged an additional $1 million to be paid over a three-year period. “The balance of funding is provided by a bank loan,” Procter said.
ABC moved from central Austin to their current location, at 7016 Ribelin Ranch Drive, in Sept. 2012.
The congregation has grown from about 700 to about 1,500 members. “The church has experienced a strong pattern of growth, especially since relocating to the Four Points area. Our growth is driving the new additions. We’ve had so many young families join the church,” Procter said.
Noting that a variety of school and community groups also use ABC facilities almost daily, Procter said.
“The expansion will enable us to provide space for continued growth and ministry to the community. It is a commitment to our vision: to build a family of devoted followers of Christ that worships God, shares Christ’s hope and love and ministers to each other’s needs,” he said.