NEW CASTLE — There will be Bibles instead of bowling balls, but the New Hope Church plans to make their new facility next to the City Market store an asset the whole community can use when it’s completed.
Construction continues on the building, which was formerly the site of New Castle Bowl. New Hope Church purchased the building in the summer of 2013 and it is currently under construction. The building was expected to be open by now, but a slowdown in the funding process has caused it to be delayed.
“It’s a major remodel project that we were hoping wouldn’t be as expansive as it is,” said Russell Talbott, who heads up the church board. “We’re going to have to sell off some other properties that we have and when we do, then we’ll have about two more months worth of work left to complete the building.”
The plans call for leaving in two of the bowling lanes and using the rest of the large room as a meeting room that will include a stage and theater, which Talbott said would be available for use by the schools and the community.
“It is a big room — you don’t realize how big until you take out the bowling lanes and the pin machines,” Talbott said. “We’ll be able to seat 650 people comfortably. Along with the usual church functions of worship, weddings and funerals, it can also be used for conferences, plays and musicals. We’d like to see things like the Symphony of the Valley come in and use it.”
The entire building has been gutted, except the kitchen. What was once a bar area will be used for classrooms, and the bathrooms are now larger. An area east of the church building is also being developed to be used as a public park, with funding help from the town.
“They’ve revamped the volleyball courts and the town has agreed to kick in $8,000 to $10,000 to help with the development,” said Mayor Frank Breslin.
New Hope Church originated in Glenwood Springs as the First Baptist Church, which later joined with the Apple Tree Community Church in Apple Tree Park in New Castle on the south side of the Colorado River. The church evolved into New Hope Church and met at Riverside Middle School and most recently at Coal Ridge High School.
But now they’ll have a space to call their very own.
“We’re very excited about it,” Talbott said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and a quality addition bringing lots of opportunities to the town of New Castle.”