By LOU WILIN
Fast-growing Gateway Church, on Hancock County 9 near Liberty-Benton High School, will nearly double its space with a $4.9 million, 30,892-square-foot addition by spring 2015.
The church, affiliated with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, got City Planning Commission approval Thursday for the southward expansion.
Construction will start this spring. The expanded church will have a sanctuary space with 1,000 theater-style seats. The expansion also will accommodate a new nursery and remodeled infant area, expanded cafe and additional multi-purpose rooms.
Gateway’s existing worship space has 640 chairs for three Sunday morning services, said Scott Long, administrative pastor. It had 540 chairs a year ago, he said. Average Sunday morning attendance has more than doubled since 2005 to 1,513, including children, he said.
The existing building is 31,286 square feet. Gateway leaders are studying alternative uses for the existing worship area. It could be used for weddings and banquets or be divided for other uses, Long said.
Separately, a plan for an Advance Auto Parts, at 420 W. Trenton Ave., the former site of Findlay Truck Lines, was approved by the planning commission Thursday. Plans call for construction of a 6,895-square-foot store to start this spring and for it to open this fall.
It will be the second Advance Auto Parts in Findlay. The other store is located at 932 Tiffin Ave.
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