05/09/10 — Pikeville church launches pavilion project

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Pikeville church launches pavilion project

By Laura Collins
Published in News on May 9, 2010 1:50 AM

Elm Grove Church in Pikeville has started its capital campaign raising money for a new development in the area.

Open Door Community Development Corp., an outreach of Elm Grove Church, is in the beginning stages of its plans to build "The Golden Gate Pavilion" on land across from the church, which it already owns.

Gabriel Johnson, managing director of An Open Door CDC said in the six months since they've announced their plan to the Pikeville Board of Commissioners they've been focusing more on planning.

"We've been working with planners and other parties to pull it together," he said. "We had to step back and do a little bit more planning with where we wanted the Pavilion to go."

Their capital campaign, which kicked-off April 15 was geared first to the faith community in the area and on May 15 will also be opened to the general public. The group plans to unveil their artist rendering of the development on May 14 at a banquet and community night at 7 p.m. at Antioch Community Center. It will be followed by one of their first fundraisers, a comedy classic at 6 p.m. on May 15 at Love Temple on North Oak Forest Road. Johnson said so far they have $100,000 in pledges and commitments for the pavilion.

Johnson said he expects the campaign to last three years and estimates the cost of the project to be about $8 million. He said that though the economy is less than ideal, he and the congregation believes now is a good time for their campaign.

"There is a need in our community," he said. "The timing is right, we feel. This is a social investment and there are social needs to be met. We in the faith-based community have a good track record of providing for social needs in the community."

Johnson said they are currently working with J.H. Batten Inc., a Walkertown design-builder company specializing in churches, assisted living and commercial construction.

Though the latest designs Johnson plans to unveil May 14, initial plans centered around 19.9 acres of land located between U.S. 117 and Booker Road. The church plans to use 11 acres for the pavilion and 8.9 acres for a perpetual garden.

The pavilion would encompass commercial spaces, a work training and call center, a health care program, a community center and chapel and senior housing with living units. The perpetual garden is described as a cemetery, park and spiritual museum.

Johnson said it would likely be a customer service type call center and would create about 125 jobs. He said he does not currently have a business that is planning on opening a call center in Pikeville.

He said the church also intends for the health program to promote awareness, offer testing/screenings and counseling for patients with chronic and sexually transmitted diseases.

The senior housing would also have additional facilities for "senior adult day care services" and the community center would be equipped for after-school programs, fairs and symposiums, performing arts and entertainment, church services and athletic events, Johnson said.