A church will move into the former Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 administrative offices on Hanson Boulevard, Coon Rapids.
The Coon Rapids Planning Commission June 19 unanimously granted a conditional use permit to the Hmong Alliance Church to occupy the 27,400 square-foot building at 11299 Hanson Blvd., which has been empty for a couple of years since the school district moved its administrative offices to Anoka.
According to Planner Scott Harlicker, no exterior improvements are planned to the building, but the interior will be modeled to include a sanctuary to hold up to 500 people, office space, meeting rooms and classrooms.
Work will also include general maintenance and upgrades to bring the building current with today’s handicapped standards and fire code, Harlicker said.
The existing access on 113th Avenue will continue to be used with no changes proposed, he said.
The commission approval came with the condition that any increase to the sanctuary seating of 500 would require additional parking, which is currently at 129 spaces on the site, Harlicker said.
The school district will continue to use the fleet maintenance facility on the site, he said.
According to Bryan Vang, building chairperson of Hmong Alliance Church, the church anticipates moving from its present location at Ilex Street and 115th Avenue in Coon Rapids to the new site on Hanson in October, once the interior remodeling has been completed.
“We have outgrown our present space,” Vang said.
The current church building has seating for 350 people, Vang said.
The Hmong Alliance Church started in south Minneapolis in 1983 and has been at it current Coon Rapids location for past nine years, he said.
It started out with 300 members and now has 760, Vang said. “We anticipate further growth in the Coon Rapids and north suburban area,” he said.
According to Vang, 60 percent of the church’s membership comes from the Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park areas, 30 percent from the Coon Rapids, Blaine and Andover area and 10 percent from other parts of the Twin Cities.
The church has two worship services on Sundays – a Hmong service at 9:30 a.m., which draws some 250 people, and an English-language service at 11 a.m., which is attended by some 100 people, Vang said.
In addition, the Hmong Alliance Church has Sunday school, nightly prayer, midweek prayer, classes, meetings, trainings, counseling and ministries for all age groups from infants to seniors throughout the week, plus special events such as conferences, revivals, weddings and banquets, according to information provided to the city by the church.
The move to the new building will enable the church to offer services to more people, Vang said.
The Hmong Alliance Church is an evangelical, Bible-believing Christian church of the Hmong District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, which is headquartered in Denver, Colo.