Ground broken on new Fairburn church
Published: Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Fairburn United Methodist Church members broke ground on a new church building last Sunday during a special ceremony. The new church, on which construction will begin almost immediately, will replace the 87-year-old structure that has fallen into disrepair and in which worship currently takes place in.
Sunday’s ceremony included participation from the church’s congregation, which reaches up to 30, Jerry Bottinger, associate lay leader for the Dakota Conference, Justin Trent, lay minister for the church, and Ed Coates, church pastor.
The decision to replace the old building was a tough one, as many generations of Buffalo Gap residents had attended church at the current building. However, with the continued problems with the current facility that led to the church’s insurance company eventually denying full coverage on the building, the church had no choice but to do a costly renovation project or replace it altogether. Members of the church voted at a special conference to replace the building.
The process to replace the building began last August, when the church’s administrative board met to discuss the condition of the present building and decided something needed to be done.
Trent said the current building has myriad issues, including basement walls shifting, which in turn has begun to make the ceiling twist.
The basement issue was fixed around a decade ago, but has once again started to fail. The church’s insurance company has pushed to get the issues resolved and a meeting with a structural engineer revealed the cost to bring the building up to code and make it safe would have been extremely expensive.
Bringing the building into Americans with Disability Act compliance would have meant installing an elevator. Not only would the elevator have been expensive, it would have eliminated use of the church kitchen, as well as one of the bathrooms.
“The renovation (option)â��was getting excessively high,” Trent said. “We thought it would be a better use of the church’s resources to look at doing a new building.”
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