By DAVID BORAKS
Davidson United Methodist Church plans a series of town-hall style congregation meetings beginning next week to present a conceptual plan for new facilities on its campus, off South Main Street in Davidson.
A Building Study Committee at the church has been working with Charlotte-based ADW Architects for the past 18 months. The committee looked at information gathered from the congregation and church staff to develop a conceptual plan for potential new facilities on its campus.
The Rev. Glenn Kinken, executive pastor at Davidson United Methodist, said the church has considered its space needs several times over the past seven years. The latest study, with ADW, envisions one or two new buildings on land the church already owns along South Main Street, he said. Potential locations could be facing Main Street on the existing parking lot next to the sanctuary, and behind the McKay Youth House across the street, at 261 South Main St.
The plan, which still must be accepted by church members, also foresees renovations to existing buildings. Details of the proposal won’t be unveiled until the meetings, which begin Tuesday, Rev. Kinken said.
The church currently owns about 6 acres along South Main, Walnut, South and Cathey streets, south of downtown Davidson. That includes its main sanctuary and office building at 233 South Main St., parking lots, several houses, the chapel at 306 S. Main St., and the McKay Youth House at 261 South Main St.
Rev. Kinken said the recent study looked at space needs of the church’s various ministries and came up with the proposal that will be presented at the coming meetings.
“We have a pretty good plan in place … We’re going to share this with the congregation and see if they get excited about it,” he said.
A headline on the church website promoting the meetings asks: “What could we build? Where would we build it? What would we gain?” The meetings will be Tuesday, Aug. 14, 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 19, 5 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 9, at 5 p.m., all in the Fellowship Hall.
After those meetings, a congregation meeting would be held “to decide if we take the next step – to elect a building committee, which would then begin putting detailed plans in place,” Rev. Kinken said. If the congregation decides to go forward with any building or renovations, another task would be to raise money for the projects.
“Any new construction here is at least a year and a half off,” Rev. Kinken said.
The latest building plan comes several years after the church agreed to a partnership with the Town of Davidson to help renovate and expand the former Davidson IB Middle School, on South Street. Davidson United Methodist had offered $1 million toward that project in exchange for the right to share space. But those plans evaporated when the bond market dried up and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Mecklenburg County dropped plans to expand the school. The building has since closed as a public school and now is leased to Lake Norman Christian School.
Davidson United Methodist Church website, DavidsonUMC.org
Sept. 22, 2008, “Methodist Church agrees to join rec center project.”