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The Bridge builds their church

One of the areas of the building The Bridge Bible Church is renovating is the "KidZone" area, where the church's children's ministry will take place. It will also be leased by Sonshine Learning Center out of New Richmond as an additional location for the childcare center. Pictured, Bob Andrighetti pulls up carpet so the "KidZone" area can be re-carpeted.1 / 3
Missy LeQue stands in an area of the building that The Bridge Bible Church is refurbishing for use as their worship space. LeQue said the corner she is standing in will be turned into a raised area at the front of the gathering space, which will be used for preaching, teaching, singing and speaking.2 / 3
The Bridge Bible Church has been working on the inside of their new church building since Dec. 13. Missy LeQue said the church has been relying on the expertise of several church members when it comes to remodeling.3 / 3

The Bridge Bible Church in Somerset is turning what used to be a salon into a gathering space, "KidZone" Children's area and a coffee shop.

The Bridge Bible Church closed on the building, located at 701 Rivard St., on Dec. 13 and began renovations around Dec. 15.

"Everybody's excited to have a 24/7 spot that we can function from," said Rev. Brian Williamson. "We'll have a more established location to do our ministry out of."

Church member Missy LeQue said much of the work is being done by church members who have remodeling experience. LeQue said many of these people have jobs in areas like construction and electrical contracting. In all, LeQue said there are between 20 and 30 people signed up as volunteers to help renovate the church.

Some of the renovations being done include replacing the carpet, removing walls in certain areas and removing salon equipment from what will be The Bridge Bible Church's gathering space.

"There's just a real sense from our whole church body that this is just an exciting time," LeQue said.

Despite the strong volunteer response, LeQue said The Bridge Bible Church will contract for some portions of the work--for work that lies outside the skill set of Bridge Bible church members. LeQue said the church is currently taking bids for the project.

LeQue said coordinating volunteer schedules has also been a challenge, as many of the volunteers work full time.

To save money and the environment, LeQue said the church is reusing as much material as they can, provided it is in good condition and reusing it does not go against code.

Williamson said he is excited about the worship space, but is especially excited about the community outreach made possible by the church's new building.

The church will be leasing their "KidZone" area to Sonshine Learning Center daycare (based in New Richmond). They will also lease a coffee shop area to The Bean Bag Coffee House (also located in New Richmond).

"When (God) created the world, He was creative in his expression of life," Williamson said. "We want to express that creativity and uniqueness, and one of the ways we really want to do that is finding ways that we can really bless the community."

Williamson said the church's goal is to complete the remodeling and hold gatherings in the new building by March. Williamson said the actual date of the first gathering in the new building will depend on how quickly construction goes.

"We're just excited to keep moving forward," he said.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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