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FBC Saragossa makes new facility accessible to all comment (0)

May 10, 2007

First Baptist Church, Saragossa, in Nauvoo, wants to be a church where everyone can visit and feel welcome. And the Walker Baptist Association church is taking pains to make sure "everyone" includes those who may come in wheelchairs or use walkers or other mobility aids. It began construction in March on a new building that will house its sanctuary, fellowship hall, offices, classrooms and choir and children’s worship rooms. The plans for the one-story building include making sure that everything meets standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. "The whole church will be handicapped-accessible," said Pastor Larry Harkness.

The highest step in the building will be a 4-inch step at the doorway to keep water out, Harkness said. The only elevated room will be a sound booth in the 235-seat sanctuary.

Although the current buildings will be torn down, the church will renovate its current fellowship hall to create a youth building. "(We) tweaked the plans to what we needed and so that we have room to grow," he said. "Everything we’ve done is for everybody."

The construction program has been a "uniform effort," Harkness said, noting that several church members have helped through donations such as land and money. The church hopes to move into its new facility by Thanksgiving, he said.

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