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Examiner
  • Blue Springs First Baptist Church preparing to relocate

  • First Baptist Church in Blue Springs has been in downtown Blue Springs for decades. And as the church as grown, renovations and additions have been possible to accommodate the growing congregation.

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  • First Baptist Church in Blue Springs has been in downtown Blue Springs for decades. And as the church as grown, renovations and additions have been possible to accommodate the growing congregation.
    However, after years of growth, the church has simply outgrown its space. It is landlocked by the railroad and the historical district, leaving no more room to add on. The time has come for the church to move.
    “They are essentially being squeezed,” said Matt Schlicht, with Engineering Solutions at Monday’s Blue Springs Planning Commission meeting. “They have hit the limit of using the building, so they have purchased a property with the hopes of building something for their growing congregation and to help develop that part of town.”
    The commission approved the rezoning, site plan/design review and the preliminary plans for First Baptist Church Monday. The property is at 26310 Wyatt Road, which is the northwest corner of the Missouri 7 and Wyatt Road intersection.
    Originally, a mixed-use development was supposed to be constructed on the property. The three different zoning districts on the property were approved in 2008. However, those plans expired, allowing for the church to purchase the property. The entire property now has a general business zoning designation.
    In the first phase of the project, an approximately 50,000-square-foot building will be constructed to house office space, the sanctuary and an area for the preschool program and Sunday school classes.
    Subsequent phases will include additions to the original building, making the final size about 122,000 square feet. Athletic fields are also planned in those future phases.
    Lauren Gowdy, associate planner with the city, said plans for the building call for large concrete panels on the exterior as well as aluminum canopies. She said city staff has expressed concern over the large amounts of concrete slabs being proposed and have suggested that First Baptist Church find alternate materials to use.
    “The use of concrete panels should be limited in use to avoid this single undifferentiated plane,” she said. “We suggest that hey revise the elevations, providing a variation in materials, colors and other architectural elements to add differentiation.”
    According to the First Baptist Church’s website, church members have given more than $1.4 million above their normal monetary gifts over the last three years to put toward the Moving Forward initiative. This funding has allowed the church to purchase the 38 acres where the church will eventually be constructed. Over the next three years, another $2 million will need to be raised to support the construction of the church facility and both the current property as well as property the church owns in north Blue Springs will have to be sold.
     
     

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