Construction of the new Christ Church of Longboat Key, Presbyterian building could begin as early as late March or early April. And church members are planning to celebrate with a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony following 10 a.m. services Sunday, March 14.
“We’re very happy to get started,” said the Rev. Dr. Bruce Porter, minister at Christ Church.
The Rev. Graham Hart, executive presbyter at Peace River Presbytery, in North Port, and Christ Church Building Committee Chairman Burt Borgelt will speak at the event, and Building Committee member Bill Buckley will play bagpipes. Attendees should meet at the church’s current location at 595 Bay Isles Road and travel by bus to the building site. Participants will be required to ride buses to the event because of the current parking situation at the site.
The Longboat Key Town Commission voted to approve the $3.5 million sanctuary project in January. The 17,400-square-foot sanctuary will be built on a 1.9-acre parcel of land on the corner of Gulf of Mexico Drive and General Harris Street, which the church bought in March 2008. Since then, residents of the 150-home Sleepy Lagoon neighborhood have expressed concern about increased traffic, parking problems and storm-water-drainage issues.
The church is currently working with the contractor, DooleyMack Constructors, which is in the process of obtaining a building permit from the town. Construction will likely take place over 12 to 14 months.
The church, which was founded in 2005, will continue to hold services in its current location throughout the building project. The church will keep the pink building at 6400 Gulf of Mexico Drive, part of which is occupied by Longview Realty Inc., and will use some of the remaining space for offices.
IF YOU GO
When: Meet about 11:15 a.m. Sunday, March 14; the ceremony will last approximately 30 minutes.
Where: Meet at Christ Church’s current location, 595 Bay Isles Road, to travel by bus to the construction site at 6400 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]