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Bethany Reformed Church to dedicate new addition Sunday in Clara City

A coffee bar and new kitchen are part of the new addition at Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City. The new narthex more than doubles the size of the former narthex. A large multipurpose room and a gym are among the other features of the new addition. Submitted1 / 3
Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City added on a new narthex, church office and large multipurpose space. The multipurpose addition on the far right is four feet below ground to keep the roof line from dominating the church complex and to save on concrete expenses. Submitted2 / 3
Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City has a gym in its new building addition. The gym is equipped for basketball or volleyball, has a batting cage and a large-screen for viewing DVDs. Submitted 3 / 3

CLARA CITY — Bethany Reformed Church will dedicate its building addition following the morning service Sunday.

In November of 2013 the church voted to build a multipurpose addition and embarked on a fundraising endeavor to raise about 40 percent of the projected cost before starting. This was accomplished by the following Easter, but construction was delayed until the spring of 2015 to ensure favorable weather.

According to Pastor Don Pantinga, the addition is a longtime dream of youth director Todd Henker, who has been at Bethany since 1999. The design came from members of the congregation, and local contractors did most of the construction.

The new building consists of a narthex, which more than doubles the size of the former narthex, and a large multipurpose space. The narthex includes a new church office as the old office is now the connection to the new building. There is also a large coffee bar, kitchen, and a handicap-accessible restroom.

The large multipurpose room is flanked by two locker rooms, a restroom, equipment room, and a balcony over all these for viewing activities. There is a lift to go down to the gym floor or up to the balcony. The gym is four feet lower to keep the roof line from dominating the church complex and to save on concrete expenses.

The gym is equipped for basketball — 10 feet short of a regulation sized court, volleyball, and there is a batting cage which can be lowered from the ceiling. DVDs can be shown on a large screen.

The addition blends in with the current building. According to Pastor Plantinga, Kasota stone from Mankato, used on the sanctuary in the 1950s and on the education addition in the 1970s, was mined from the same area for the new addition.

The addition was placed on the former south parking lot and a new parking lot was built on the north side over the geothermal wells used to heat and cool the sanctuary. The new addition exceeds standards for building efficiency.

It is used Sundays for coffee and fellowship. During the week there are open gym times and youth group activities. The MACCRAY Fellowship of Christian Athletes has used it, and the building is a resource for all the youth of the area and for nonprofits as well.

An open house for the community will be held later.

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