As we wrap up our 50th Anniversary celebration, this last month we will reflect on the latest renovation and building addition. An office area was added to the church in the 90’s when Pastor Dave came to serve the congregation. This office was revamped a few years later to better utilize the space.
For years there was discussion on making our church more handicapped accessible as the needs of the congregation were continually evaluated. The entry at Faith required using the steps to gain access to both the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. At the Annual meeting in January 2000, the Handicap Access Committee was formed and their first meeting was held on February 17, 2000. Barb Markiewicz served as the chair of the committee. Others on the committee were Pastor Kris Borns, Carol Wagner, Laurie Stretz, Jean Happel, and Marilyn Mayer.
During the next months, Tim Bach presented plans on how an elevator could be incorporated with the current building. On August 1, 2000, the committee and other interested members of the congregation visited Options for Independent Living in Green Bay to see the elevator. Plans continued to be refined.
Almost a year after the committee was formed, on January 14, 2001, the congregation voted unanimously to proceed with an elevator and a 467 square foot church addition. The elevator would have three stops and open in two directions. It would be located on the west side of the church with a meeting room addition for access to the elevator. Memorials, donations from individuals and church organizations by the end of 2001 had reached $95,000. Donations continued in 2002 with a project cost around $150,000.
Kahl Construction coordinated the project with Tim Bach serving as the construction manager. The project got started around Memorial Day in 2001. Foundation work was completed in June. The elevator shaft was built in July along with trenching the electrical service from the north side of church to the new location. Members of the congregation donated masonry and electronics work to the project which helped keep the cost of the project down. By August framing of the new meeting room addition was started and the area was closed in by early September. Another part of the project was making one of the bathrooms handicapped accessible.
Work continued on the project while we waited for the elevator. After several delays, the Elevator finally arrived 12/13/01 and was installed in early 2002. The project was nearly complete.
On March 28, 2002, before a Wednesday evening Lenten Service, Barb Markiewicz gave Earl & Ruth Schilling and Pastor Kris instructions on how the elevator would operate. They then took the first elevator ride. After their ride, many attending the service that evening tried out the elevator.
During the summer of 2002, the children of Harry & Doris Melius, contracted with a company to change the four clear glass windows in the new meeting room into beautiful stained glass windows similar to those in the sanctuary. The windows were given in memory of their parents.
On Rally Sunday, September 8th, a balloon release marked the completion of the handicap access addition with the elevator and the start of the Sunday School year.
Many changes have taken place over the last 50 years. May we continue to ‘Grow in Faith Together’ over the next 50 years.