Calvary church to add building
26,000-square-foot building will more than double space

       After eight years in a converted grocery store at 505 Castle Road, Calvary Worship Center is ready to grow substantially.
       The non-denominational evangelical church has submitted a plan to Colorado Springs Planning for construction of a new 26,780-square-foot building, which would go in north of the current structure and be used for a sanctuary and church services as well as preschool and adult classrooms.
       The older space, which has been straining to handle attendance levels of 1,000 or more people at services, will accommodate other church needs, including an enlarged kitchen, a multipurpose room, youth center and elementary Sunday School, according to John VanDerWege, assistant pastor of administration and finance.
       “We were faced with either moving or building on site,” he said in a recent interview. “The board wanted to stay. We feel we were placed in this neighborhood for a reason, and that we're making an impact, with a lot of outreach.”
       The plan for the 5.44-acre property near King and 30th streets is under review by City Planning, with comments being accepted until Friday, June 2, after which the application will be administratively ap-proved or denied.
       Along with the new, 35-foot-tall building, “the owner will install new curb and gutter, repave and re-stripe the entire site and bring the property up to current landscape requirements,” explained City Planner Gina Herring. The amount of parking (267 spaces) will greatly exceed the city-required 189.
       The overall project will cost about $3 million, according to VanDerWege. The expense will be covered by church fund-raisers and borrowing. Plans are being developed in conjunction with the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Calif., which formed in the 1960s and was the model for the Calvary Worship Center in Colorado Springs in 1976, he explained.
       Assuming city approval, construction is slated to begin this summer, with completion by spring 2007, he said.
       The proposal has not proved controversial so far. “There was a preliminary posting and mailing done initially with this request late last year, and no comments were received from the neighborhood,” Herring said.
       According to plan documentation, the current 16,048-square-foot building was constructed in 1966. When Calvary Worship Center bought the property in 1998, “it looked like a bombed-out warehouse,” VanDerWege said. “The front was boarded up and the parking lot looked like Beirut, with its potholes. The feedback from the neighborhood has been that we've improved the site, and it's not an eyesore anymore.”
       He believes the new facility “will be very attractive,” with stucco earth tones and a metal sprucegreen roof.

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