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Church approves $25M expansion

October 7, 2014
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Church approves $25M expansion
A partial rendering of the entrance to Calvary Church in Grand Rapids from its $25-million expansion project. Photo via gracebeyond.org

One of Grand Rapids' largest churches is taking a leap of faith on a major expansion project.

Calvary Church in Grand Rapids held a special congregational vote on Sunday evening, which determined that the Christian church will move forward with plans to enhance and enlarge the sanctuary worship area, children’s area and other spaces in its main building, at 707 East Beltline Ave. NE.

“We are excited that the church overwhelmingly approved proceeding with this important project that will help us better minister to our congregation and the community,” said Dan Challa, elder chair, Calvary Church.

Grace Beyond project

The expansion project, called Grace Beyond, is expected to take about 16-18 months to complete and cost about $25 million.

Church leaders expect construction to begin by next summer.

“The purpose of Grace Beyond is to enhance the worship experience for each person who comes through the doors at Calvary Church,” said Tom Olsson, associate pastor, Calvary Church. “It’s to improve the space where we already gather and to further nurture worship, learning, mission training and community.”

The project will entail multiple parts: renovating the main sanctuary to improve the space’s access and visibility; enlarging the children’s area; adding classroom and activity space for a new student ministry; adding a community space for larger group meetings; and adding a prayer garden outside to facilitate opportunities for congregational prayer.

The addition to the main building will be about 38,310 square feet, expanding the sanctuary by about 300 seats, according to plans shared by the city of Grand Rapids Planning Commission this summer.

Erhardt Construction in Ada is serving as the project's construction manager, and Pasma Group Architects in Evanston, Ill. is the designer.

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