Grace Church Eden Prairie announced a major growth and renovation project earlier this month.
According to a press release, the project aims to expand educational opportunities for children ages 5 and under with the non-denominational church’s Grace Beginnings early learning and childcare program.
It will also benefit other ministries and programs by adding a new student center, classrooms, and multi-use spaces to the church at 9301 Eden Prairie Road.
The targeted renovation completion time is currently slated for the fall 2024 school year.
One of the church’s priorities, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Troy Dobbs, is to make efforts to reach and disciple those ages 18 and under, the press release stated.
Grace Church has had several preliminary meetings with the City of Eden Prairie about the project, which will optimize the existing infrastructure at the church while expanding its footprint.
“We’re seeking their counsel and direction on this project,” said Becky Mielke, senior director of communications for Grace Church. “We value our relationship with the city, and their ongoing support of Grace Church, so it’s important we’re working together on this approval process.”
Julie Klima, the city’s community development director, said the project will require a public review process, adding that a development application has not yet been submitted to the city.
Mielke said the project’s scope is divided into a couple of phases.
Plans call for an increase in dedicated education space on the ground floor and the first level of the existing building, adding a new all-weather entrance, building a new student center and auditorium, creating additional outdoor activity spaces and playground, as well as providing a variety of enhanced indoor community spaces.
Heading the design is Visioneering Studios, an architecture and construction firm that works with churches, nonprofits, and schools to maximize and reimagine current building spaces.
“It’s still too early to accurately project what total costs will be, but we’re anticipating the project to be several million dollars,” Mielke said.
Asked how this would impact traffic in the area, Mielke said the church would conduct a traffic study.
“Grace has several thousand people coming to and from our property on Sunday mornings, (and for special events) so we understand the vital role traffic flow plays in a project like this,” she wrote. “We will be introducing a new traffic flow, implementing staggered start times, (for the school) as well as multiple points of entrance off Mitchell Road and Eden Prairie Road to minimize congestion.”
Currently, the childcare and preschool has over 100 children enrolled and is actively recruiting and hiring staff to accommodate the program’s growth while developing the curriculum.
“This renovation project is an opportunity for us to connect with our community at a new level,” said Craig McLain, executive pastor for Grace Church. “We’re excited to work with Visioneering Studios, the City of Eden Prairie and surrounding municipalities to develop a safe, welcoming, and multifunctional space that families and neighbors can enjoy.”
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