Parkwood church had been exploring the idea of expanding its facility
since 1984. In that year an architect was hired to put together
some ideas for consideration by the congregation, and an "expansion
fund" was established. The congregation had outgrown one
Sunday worship service and had started a second. In 1987, the
minister and family moved out of the "old manse" and
purchased their own home, thus enabling the church to "move
in". The former living room became "the Fireside Room",
the kitchen was transformed into a new large nursery with adjoining
crib room, the front porch was winterized and became a preschool
room, and the bedrooms upstairs became Sunday School classrooms
and meeting rooms. The "old manse" was officially renamed
the Fellowship Centre in 1989. But Parkwood still had a narthex
(the area immediately outside the sanctuary) that wasn't much
more than a hallway. When we hired a part-time youth director
in the early '90's, she was given the smallest bed-cum-classroom
in the Fellowship Centre as an office. At this stage, further
expansion was still in the class of "things hoped for".
The recession of the early 1990's saw slow but steady growth in
the expansion fund. By late 1995 this fund contained enough money
to seriously consider expanding, thanks in large part to a bequest
the congregation had received earlier in the year. At a meeting
called November 25th, the congregation agreed to a building plan
to commence the following summer.
On June 27th, 1996 the congregation accepted a proposal for expansion
of the sanctuary and narthex/office area that was estimated to
cost slightly over $400,000. On the main floor this added 14
feet to the sanctuary, allowed the narthex to expand to take in
the current office space, and provided four new offices, an accessible
washroom and an elevator "behind" (west of) the narthex.
Downstairs, there would be a new kitchen, a room to store choir
music, a large meeting room where the choir could warm up undisturbed
on Sundays, and a separate area for 2-3 Sunday School classrooms.
The lower hall would lose its posts and gain storage for chairs,
tables, etc. in the old kitchen area. Most of the money was already
in hand, and no more than $40,000 would need to be financed. The
contractor whose bid was accepted was Morley Construction Inc.
The project commenced the week of July 1st with the delivery of a trailer
to house the church offices while construction was in process. Next came
excavation, and the firms were put in place and basement walls poured the
week of August 8. By the week of July 29 basement floor had been poured,
the main level had been framed and the basement was on it's way to being "stripped".
The weeks of Aug. 12 & 19 saw a new roof on the sanctuary, new steel beams
installed to support the sanctuary floor and a start on building a new platform in
the sanctuary. The floowing few weeks saw walls framed, door frames installed,
gyprocking and installation of cedar walls in the expanded sanctuary. The week of
Sept. 16 saw the beginning of the installation of the handicapped lift, painting
begun and new kitchen cabinets installed. By Sept. 30 new carpetting had been
installed in the sanctuary and was in progress in the lower hall. All was
substantially done by the week of October 28.
you can look at the new floor plans here.