Not quite a year after The Crossing Church’s Hannibal congregation worshipped for the first time together in the Orpheum Theater, another major project is in the works. One of the Broadway properties the church purchased - 421-423 Broadway - will in the weeks ahead be brought down.
“They’re two storefronts which are actually part of one building,” said Randy Drish, campus pastor. “They’re in bad shape so we’re going to tear them all the way down. Eventually we’re going to build in there, expanding our entry way area into the church and then we’re going to expand our children’s building.”
There is just no cost-effective way to salvage the 421-423 Broadway building, according to Drish.
“We had a couple of work days where we went in with volunteers and started working on it. We quickly found that it just wasn’t in very good shape. We’re going to go ahead and take her down and start fresh,” he said.
Ron Bricker, project coordinator with Bricker Excavating/Demolition which will handle the “deconstruction,” agrees with Drish’s assessment of the structure.
“There are holes in the floor. It’s like walking across a trampoline inside. It’s in very, very bad shape,” said Bricker.
The building will be demolished slowly and carefully.
“The building is going to be brought down brick by brick and beam by beam; it’s not a wrecking ball type thing,” said Drish.
“You can’t be a bull in china closet and go in and start knocking things down. If you do you’ll do damage to everything else around there,” said Bricker.
Bricker added that as the building deconstruction proceeds steps will be taken to protect the interior walls of the remaining buildings that will soon become exterior walls.
“As we take the building down they’re going to be in there tuck pointing to preserve those,” he said. “It will help save on costs by doing everything at one time.”
No firm time line
A rigid time line for the deconstruction has not been set.
“We’re church guys, not construction guys,” laughed Drish. “We’re just taking it step by step. That structure should be torn down in about five to six weeks.”
When the new construction takes place, it will provide additional space to the church’s entryway at 425 Broadway.
“Right now we’re really good at having church; we have a wonderful auditorium. We just don’t have a lot of standing room,” said Drish. “Half that (new) building is going to go toward an entry area for the church and the other half is going to go toward the children’s area. Both side buildings are going to get added space.”
Page 2 of 2 - According to Drish, eventually the fronts of the two existing buildings at 417-419 and 425 Broadway, and the new structure at 421-423 Broadway, will be re-faced to appear as one structure.
Drish is hopeful the new construction will be completed by the end of the year.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said.
The Crossing began having services at the Orpheum on April 29, 2012.
“The church is growing every week and that’s a testament to God moving in Hannibal,” said Drish. “We’re excited to have a front row seat just to watch him work.”