The Northgate Church congregation gave thanks and shoveled a little sand March 23.
There was little bit more snow on the ground than they envisioned, but it was a good day to be in Northgate Church, said Rev. Steve Perkins, senior pastor, at the ground breaking for the new church building in Ramsey.
When the ground thaws, if it thaws, they will be moving forward with building the church’s new guesthouse, he said.
“The new church building is for the people who have yet to join (Northgate) and for those outside of the church,” Perkins said.
“This building represents the opportunities for many new things to happen in the days to come.”
The new 15,200 square-foot building is designed to be a performing arts center, said Rev. Wayne Skaff, church pastor.
“Northgate wanted to build something the community could use,” he said.
The building, which is located on the corner of Sunwood Drive and Peridot Street, will include a 503-seat auditorium, which can be expanded to 700 seats, two classrooms, a nursery and lobby area.
In addition to being a worship center on Sundays and used for Wednesday night classes, the center could be used by PACT Charter School, for a community theater, health seminars by Allina or a backup venue for the summer art series, Skaff said.
Northgate started raising funds for the $3.2 million building in January 2012 and it has raised $1.6 million so far, he said.
“We have 190 families that have made a commitment to the building fund,” Skaff said.
The church, which has been meeting at the PACT Charter School in Ramsey, has weekly attendance of 700 to 750 people.
When asked March 23 what the church’s congregation was in August 2010, Skaff said it had a weekly attendance of 590 people.
The footings are expected to be in by May 1 and the exterior walls up by June 10, he said.
Tammy Sakry is at firstname.lastname@example.org