By KIM ESTES, Four Points News
Austin Baptist Church will open its 33,686-square-foot, two-story education building on Aug. 28. The expansion is a result of growth and future growth projections.
The building provides 17,847-square-feet on the first floor for 13 children’s rooms and children’s worship space. The second floor will house a dozen adult classrooms in 15,839-square-feet.
Opening of the education building, marks completion of the first phase of ABC’s expansion. The next phase, a building to be named Heritage Hall, is currently underway and scheduled to open in February.
Last October, the church broke ground on its 35-acre property with plans to add more than 52,000-square-feet of structural space, complementing its original 81,660-square-foot building.
“Our fund drive, called ‘Building on a Strong Foundation’, has raised $4.14 million; less than half-a-million dollars in pledges remain outstanding. So, our financial plan is on target. A bank loan of $6.5 million provides the balance of the funding to complete construction,” said David Procter, executive pastor.
The purpose of the expansion is to service the church’s current growth and programs.
“The additional space creates the possibility of expanding our weekday preschool program and will basically allow us to ultimately double our capacity to reach preschoolers, children, students and adults,” said Procter.
“Heritage Hall will expand our capacity to host some LISD and community events that our current Great Hall can no longer accommodate,” he added.
However, on a regular basis, Heritage Hall will house the church’s largest Bible fellowship group and accommodate ABC storage needs. It will cover 15,451-square-feet on the ground floor with an additional 2,503-square-feet on a mezzanine level for a total of 17,954-square-feet. Also, adjacent parking will be built for 188 spaces.
For the future, on the drawing board but not yet in the budget, are plans for a 3,500-square-foot area for two separate playgrounds. One is for children 5-years-old and under, and the other is for children older than five.
“The playground (construction) date is undetermined; additional funding will be needed to proceed with that part of the project,” Procter said.
ABC has more than 1,500 members. The church moved from central Austin to its current location, 7016 Ribelin Ranch Drive, in September 2012.