The most noticeable change to the church is the addition of a gathering room off the sanctuary and main entrance. This large room, complete with a kitchenette, offers space for the congregation and community to meet. The large cross from the old New Hope Lutheran Church will hang in the center of the main wall.
Located next to the sanctuary, this space may be used for overflow during services and events that fill the sanctuary. The room will be outfitted with wi-fi, a sound system and a large-screen television. Associate Pastor Joshua Martyn hopes to see the video capability expanded to allow members to watch the service from this gathering hall.
The room will be available for community events as well. The church already opens its space to Habitat for Humanity and a local cancer support group.
"We want the community to be more involved in using our facilities and coming into our facilities. making it more open," Martyn said.
This new gathering area is a favorite of Schoening's 7-year-old granddaughter, Alyssa Schroeder. The church recently used the area for Vacation Bible School.
A major overhaul to the kitchen also was performed, with closet walls knocked down to open it up and create more space. Administration offices that were once accessible by an exterior fire escape have been moved to the main floor. Additional bathrooms have been added as well.
An addition to the sanctuary will give energetic children a place to play and still witness the service. By removing two back pews, contractors built an enclosed "Children's Sanctuary," complete with chairs, workbooks and toys.
The project included 22 colors of paint on the walls and approximately 60 new doors. The church also is adding a new security system with outside lights, cameras, a buzzer door and a key fob door system.