Church breaks ground on $2.5 million project
SINCLAIRVILLE — A major building project for an area church is officially underway. On Sunday, members of Park United Methodist Church gathered to break ground for their $2.5 million building project.
The church is adding a Family Life Center and doing other renovations to its current building at 49 Sinclair Drive, Sinclairville. The end result will increase the current building from 12,000 square feet to 29,000 square feet.
“May God use this space for his glory,” said Pastor Joe Pascoe, who challenges his congregation every week to “love the hell out of your neighbors.”
Indeed, “loving their neighbors” is one of the major factors behind Park Church’s building project.
Church leaders see the building as an opportunity not only for Park Church youth and adults to meet and grow, but also be a place where community organizations can gather.
Everything from food pantries, to senior exercise classes to county programs like the Faith Based Initiative use Park Church’s building. But because the space is limited, some groups are forced to look elsewhere.
Another reason for the project is due to the need for adequate daycare in the community.
Park Church has the Wrap program, where the church watches children before and after school when parents are working. This school year there were more than 125 children registered. Right now, they don’t have a dedicated space, so the children meet in various classrooms and the sanctuary. That becomes more complicated when there’s a funeral service or something else going on inside.
This summer, they’re looking at more than 65 children who will be part of the all-day Wrap program. All day daycare services could continue year-round once the building project is complete.
“There’s a lot of families with kids that need daycare,” explained District 14 County Legislator Dan Pavlock, who is also a member of the Cassadaga Valley Board of Elections.
Behind Park Church are sports fields used for practice during the school year and the youth soccer program in the summer. While the building is not used a lot for those events, the parking lot is. Parking can be very limited when there’s a church event and a youth sporting event at the same time.
Last year Park Church hired Dan Skinner as its full-time youth director, but there’s not a dedicated spot for the youth to meet. Sunday nights they have an active School Of The Arts and youth group program for both middle and high school teens. But space is a premium, so they often end up in the church foyer or rearranging the sanctuary.
For some people in the congregation, Sunday’s groundbreaking ceremony reminds them of when the church broke ground for its current location in 1998, moving from their former building in downtown Sinclairville.
“This is bigger than the last one — both size and cost,” said retired Pastor Jim Bailey, who oversaw the last groundbreaking.
Bailey added he’s confident in the current leadership, especially Rev. Pascoe, as the church moves forward. “He’s taken what we did and really run with it. It’s great,” he said.