Howland church plans addition

Two-phase expansion will cost $1.6 million

HOWLAND — With increased numbers in church youth programs, the Howland United Methodist Church is planning a $1.6 million addition project to start later this year andgo into 2019.

Pastor Matt Darrin said more than $300,000 has been raised for the two-phase project that includes a large multipurpose welcome center with a gymnasium to be added to the southeastern section of the church that could be used for church and community outreach events.

He said the northeastern corner of the church where there is a sidewalk leading to the parking lot will be enclosed for large classrooms, offices, a parlor and restrooms.

“We have expanded our programs and need more space. Our programs have more and more participants. There are more children coming to church programs and events ,” Darrin said, noting more than 200 children attended Vacation Bible School.

He said this fall, the church will offer an after-school program for any child in the community who wants to come. There currently is a preschool that also has increased in number, so more space for preschool classrooms and offices are part of the project.

Darrin said fundraising, donations and contributions from the congregation have helped raise money for the project. An annual garage sale raised $30,000.

Baker, Bednar and Associates has done the architectural work for the project. Darrin said the new areas will match the current style of the church building’s exterior.

The congregation voted this spring on addition and expansion plans for the building.

Darrin said the church was able to receive a grant to hire part-time people to assist with new church ministries. He said the project will be paid over 12 years.

“The most important part of this is not only will we have more space for our already well-attended ministries, but this will allow us to begin new ministries,” Darrin said.