More than tripling the size of their ministry space, the Holland, Mich., Corps recently completed a $3.8 million building expansion project, adding 22,000-square-feet of classrooms, offices, a game room, gymnasium and chapel to the existing 9,000-square-foot multi-purpose area,renovating and expanding the kitchen and converting the old space into a dining room.
“We are truly blessed and excited to be able to serve our community in a greater capacity because of the added space,” said Major Matt Grindle, who leads the corps with his wife, Patricia. “For example, our day camp which has been licensed for 50 may now be expanded to 150 children during the summer months. We are no longer hindered by our building but blessed to have space for all programming needs.”
The old space consisted primarily of a single large room, which posed a significant challenge to the majors as they attempted to maintain a full schedule of programs. Time and energy was used to set up, tear down, clean and then reset for the next activity multiple times each week. With the addition of designated rooms for each program and fewer shared spaces, that time and energy is now allocated to direct ministry.
Completion of the building project will allow the corps to incorporate new programs and to serve more people regularly. The new space increases their capacity for meeting the vital needs of those relying on social service assistance and gives more prominence and visibility to the corps as a hub for fellowship and community events.
Less than two weeks after the project was complete, the corps held its first public event in the new building—a United Way fair featuring informational booths as well as direct services such as haircuts and voter registration assistance. More than 600 people were welcomed and received information on Salvation Army programs and services.
The Grindles plan to use the new spaces by expanding their existing activities to include sports, music and afterschool programs. They are currently looking to hire a youth ministry coordinator and program assistant to help increase program offerings. In addition, they will be focusing on advisory board development and ongoing fundraising to support and sustain the new programming.
To make the new facility a reality, The Salvation Army in Holland sought community support through a 15-month capital campaign that exceeded its original goal by more than $800,000 and raised $2.3 million. In addition to local investment by the community, the corps qualified to receive territorial incentive funds for the project.
In a ceremony where the new chapel was filled to capacity, territorial leaders Commissioners Brad and Heidi Bailey dedicated the building. Commissioner Brad Bailey, territorial commander, encouraged soldiers and employees to continue to move forward in the Army’s mission of holistic service to their community.
“I was challenged by the commissioner’s message,” concluded the major. “We want everything we do to be an opportunity to share Christ’s love with everyone who comes into our sphere of influence.”