Stabilization columns will allow First Lutheran Church to temporarily move back to its sanctuary and fellowship hall space.
The church closed the space in December of 2018 due to instability issues with the roof, which resulted in safety concerns with the space. Since then, the congregation has been worshiping in the historic carriage house, located behind the church.
In March, six vertical stabilization pillars were installed in the sanctuary to support the roof load. These columns run from the sanctuary ceiling to the sanctuary floor. Six additional columns that line up with those in the sanctuary will soon be installed in the fellowship hall The installation of these pillars will include tearing up the floor and putting footings directly under the columns. Additional steel reinforcements will also be added to certain areas of the roof rafters.
This solution will allow the congregation to safely and temporarily move back into the space for worship and other activities. Roof stability will continue to be rigorously monitored.
The First Lutheran Church Council is leading the church through a planning process that will evaluate a permanent solution for the building based on the congregation's vision for its ministry.
"We are grateful for the use of the carriage house and will hold Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Saturday Easter Vigil services there," said Lead Pastor Chad Huebner. "Easter worship will be held at 10 a.m. at the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther College Campus.
"Safety continues to be our first priority and we believe with further stabilization we will be able to temporarily re-occupy the building as soon as June," says Huebner.