2018-09-06 / Community

Owendale church to become handicap-accessible

By Ben Muir


OWENDALE - Booms Construction and church members broke ground on Wednesday at the Owendale United Methodist Church. (l-r) Gary Booms, Mardi Pavlichek, Jim Burgett, Ed Good Jr., Nancy Eade, Pastor Bill Cleland, Carol Roggenbuck (from Booms Construction) and Alex Smith (from Booms construction). 
Courtesy photo OWENDALE - Booms Construction and church members broke ground on Wednesday at the Owendale United Methodist Church. (l-r) Gary Booms, Mardi Pavlichek, Jim Burgett, Ed Good Jr., Nancy Eade, Pastor Bill Cleland, Carol Roggenbuck (from Booms Construction) and Alex Smith (from Booms construction). Courtesy photo OWENDALE – The church in Owendale is being renovated for the first time in roughly 50 years.

Many denominations are closing their smaller churches, so some are making changes to stay competitive, said Mardi Pavlichek, co-chair of the church’s building committee.

The Owendale United Methodist Church, with roughly 70 members, is the only church of any denomination in the village. The congregation began demolition Wednesday to make church services and other functions more accessible to those who are handicapped, said Pavlichek.

“We’re trying to make the church more usable for everyone,” she said. “And it’s something we’ve been talking about for 10 years.”

As it stands, the church’s bathrooms are in the basement, the sanctuary is on the second floor, and the narthex (entryway) splits the two, Pavlichek said.

“So, it’s not at all good for handicap people,” she said. “or people with any limitations, really.”

The narthex is going to be torn off and replaced to feature a lift to the sanctuary and basement; a gathering area; two handicap bathrooms; and the pastor’s office, Pavlichek said.

Construction should take about five months, she added.

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