CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — A Charleston church sold several acres of its property for a new senior living center to be built in its backyard, and the church has many more projects planned for the future.
The new assisted living center will be built behind Bible Center Church near Southridge. The Municipal Planning Commission approved the plans. This is just one of many dreams the church has for its 96 acres of land.
The facility will bring in jobs and become home for hundreds.
"This is a big deal for us. We really think it’s going to be a win, win, win,” said Executive Pastor Lee Walker at Bible Center Church.
Bible Center Church sold nine acres of its property for what will become an assisted living facility. When the $35 million project is complete, it will be four stories and 190,000 square feet with 180 units. It will include assisted living, independent and memory units and many amenities.
Walker said it will have three dining rooms, a library, meeting rooms, a bistro and outdoor barbecue.
The Municipal Planning Commission said the developer of the project is Smith/Packett and the engineer is Terradon.
It’s something church members are looking forward to seeing become a reality.
"I'm thinking maybe it could be my future home at some point down the road, long time down the road,” said Jane Jackson, who is a member of Bible Center Church.
It will create construction jobs and between 110 and 130 permanent jobs. It will also be a plus for the church.
"We are going to have 200 to 300 people right at our doorstep that we can minister to. We'll offer Bible studies out there and other kinds of activities and we'll probably have transportation. We'll run out to the building and enable them to come to church on Sunday mornings if they want to,” Walker said.
Jackson said the options are unlimited.
"We think about how God has had his hand in this for us and it could be an outreach for us," Jackson said.
The church acquired its 96 acres in 2004 and Walker said church members have big plans. This project being one of them. He said they also want to improve their cross country track and want to build recreational fields, a track, a picnic shelter, a ministry village, a student ministry center and maybe bring in an adoption and foster care advocacy center and a mission agency.
"We want to be a blessing to Charleston. In fact, our motto is now we want to be a church Charleston can't live without,” Pastor Walker said.
It’s an exciting time for church members and this new facility is a check off their long list of dreams.
"I'm excited to see what the future lies for us,” Jackson said.
There are still a few more steps left before construction will begin. The Municipal Planning Commission said it does not need any more approvals except for a minor subdivision approval at a later date.