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Geneva's First Baptist Church Ready to Expand West Campus

About $9 million in improvements are proposed for the First Baptist Church of Geneva's west campus and and east campus.

Artist's renderings of the First Baptist Church of Geneva's west campus at 3435 Keslinger Road. | Credit: http://fbcg.com/gts/why-expand/
Artist's renderings of the First Baptist Church of Geneva's west campus at 3435 Keslinger Road. | Credit: http://fbcg.com/gts/why-expand/
While businesses are still struggling in a tough economy, some churches seem to be growing and seeking more space and facilities. In addition to the recent improvements under way at the Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, 227 East Side Drive, a West Side church is ready to seek approval from the city of Geneva for expansion of one of its two campuses.

Geneva's First Baptist Church is hoping to expand its west campus at Keslinger and Peck roads and make improvements to its east campus on South Street.

"With over 60 groups and 2000 people using our facilities outside of Sunday worship each week, and another dozen groups and 500 people using up to three times per month, our space for meetings and other ministry gatherings is feeling constrained," church officials said on the "Growing to Serve" pages of the First Baptist Church website.

Geneva City Planner David DeGroot reported to the Geneva Plan Commission that church officials are targeting a January public hearing on the west campus improvements.

According to the church's website, plans for the west campus have five goals:
  • Expand the main level to the north and south to add classroom and meeting space.
  • Add a flexible 300-seat venue to enhance thte lobby and welcome areas.
  • Add office space, and relocate and enlarge the nursery.
  • Remodel the lower level to improve meeting and breakout space for children’s ministries.
  • Add space for Masterpiece Ministry.
Church officials also have decided to keep both churches — the east campus at 2300 South St. and the west campus at 3435 Keslinger Road. Originally, the plan was to combine both churches onto one campus, but the $25 million cost "would be prohibitively expensive," the church website explains. Improvements to both churches were estimated at $9 million.

On the east campus, church leaders hope to:

  • Improve classrooms and meeting space on the lower level.
  • Consolidate staff office space on the lower level and enhance safety and security measures for nursery and children on the lower level.
  • Locate the food pantry on lower level for easy access.
  • Expand the lobby on the main level to enlarge welcome area and add resource and study space.
  • Add a covered drop-off area over the driveway and enhance outside entry.

"We are hopeful to begin construction on both campuses in the spring of 2014, following completion of the building permitting process and awarding of subcontracts," the website says.

The east campus could be completed as soon as September 2014 and the west campus by September 2015.

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