St. Luke's Lutheran Church and School in Oviedo is adding two buildings to its grounds, with the 22,000-square-foot expansion meant to help the century-old parish better serve its members and the general community.
The project is expected to cost $5.4 million, but a capital raising program the church ran last year raised $4.1 million, mostly from church members. And it wasn't through bake sales.
"It was mostly by face to face conversations with our members, telling them about the plans for St. Luke's," said Nikki Rach, chief communications and development officer.
St. Luke's, which sits on 41 acres at 2021 W. State Rd. 426, just south of Red Bug Lake Road, is adding a 13,000-square-foot gymnasium and a 9,000-square-foot building that will have a youth center, meeting rooms and classrooms.
The move comes as space is at a premium at St. Luke's. The church currently has 4,000 members and 750 students. When the current gym was built in 1979, there were 600 church members and about 300 children in school. And Oviedo had a population of 3,000, a figure now above 37,000, based on U.S. Census estimates following 2013.
The new facilities will add to the 137,000 square feet the church already has in the form of its church, school, gym and preschool.
Putting in the new gym will require a bit of rejiggering. Part of it will sit where the playground now is, so the playground will be moved to where the chief soccer field is, and the soccer field will be shifted to new grassland.
Rach expects construction to start this Fall, with the project completed in Summer 2016.