Neither rain nor snow nor a global pandemic have stopped the mission and vision at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.
The Mahtomedi church has undertaken “Hope Lives,” a two-phase construction project to expand not only its building footprint but also its outreach to the community. The work which was done by Langer Construction, a West St. Paul-based firm, includes a new Fellowship Hall, gathering space, front entry, bathrooms and south-facing patio, as well as a reworked parking lot and drop-off area with increased handicap accessibility.
The new space has been a long time coming—since 2017. After a $12 million capital campaign and fundraising, ground broke on the project in June 2019, and the first phase was completed this fall. Phase two involves connecting the St. Andrew’s sanctuary to its Youth and Sports Center.
“We needed this kind of space to be able to be the kind of community that we grew into,” Pastor Mike Carlson said in a video tour of the new facilities.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the church’s new additions have not yet been used to their full capacity, but the extra space to spread out has already proven to be useful, particularly the 5,300 square foot Fellowship Hall.
“Little did we know when we made this that we’d need it right now,” Carlson said. “This works perfectly for our confirmation. We had 120 kids being confirmed (this fall), and this is the only way we could have done it. It wouldn’t work before. I guess God knew we needed this large space.”
The extra space has also been a blessing to the wider community in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. This fall, high school students took their PSAT exams in St. Andrew’s new Fellowship Hall as it was the only space available that allowed for proper social distancing.
“It seems to me that this is exactly what we needed, COVID or no COVID,” Carlson said.
For more information about the Hope Lives project, visit hopelives.info.