Renovations create new look for church

Extensive renovations at the E-Free Church in Terrace B.C. will address maintenance and leave the building with an attractive new design.

Evangelical Free Church pastor Bob Pond stands in front of the church as workers do renovations

Extensive renovations underway at the Terrace Evangelical Free Church on Park Ave. will address maintenance needs and will also leave the building with an attractive wood-and-stone design.

Contracted to North Point Construction from Prince Rupert with a total cost of approximately $350,000, the project should be finished by the end of October and includes replacing siding, extending roof overhangs in order to protect walls and windows, and transforming the front entrance with a vaulted timber frame.

Prompted by the need to replace the siding, the renovations should give the 20-year-old building an attractive new look that will last for the next 40-50 years, said church member and maintenance chair David Block.

Block said the church was originally built with residential vinyl siding to save on costs.

“It was built on a shoestring budget with a lot of volunteer labour, and that was the most cost-effective way to finish the building,” he said.

“But it hasn’t been durable and it was never a product designed for a project that large.”

The congregation decided early this year to replace the siding with concrete hardie board, known for its longevity, which should last more than 50 years, and can take on a wide variety of designs and colours.

“It was an opportunity to not just replace the siding with a more durable product, but also to make the building look more attractive and welcoming and be a nicer addition to the downtown area in the city,” Block said.

Pastor Bob Pond said that for the church, maintenance is part of being a good steward of the building, and appearances also carry a weight of importance.

“Buildings speak,” said Pond.

“I feel it is important that our building does not send the wrong message. We as a church are not tired, so why should our building reflect that?”

He said that the renovated building will also contribute to the community and the downtown look.

The church will have a vaulted, timber-frame entrance that will tie in with other buildings and “match the architectural feel of the community,” he said.

The finished wood framing will be surrounded by a decorative stone siding, a design of local architect Dan Condon.

It will be similar in look to that of the neighbouring Horizon Dental building, the Northern Savings Credit Union on Lazelle Ave., and the former Lutheran church on Park Ave. which was recently renovated into offices, Block said.

“That architectural style is growing in popularity in the downtown,” he said.

“It should look timeless and attractive for 40 years.”