By Jennifer Johnson
A century ago, churches were known for building hospitals, schools, universities, and community centers instead of constructing buildings only for their own use, say leaders at Crosspointe Church of Cary, NC. This month, the church is breaking ground on a new 130,000-square-foot facility that will increase its space for Sunday programming—and provide a new YMCA for the community.
As the church leadership team considered the need for new facilities, they wanted to create something that would serve people in the area every day of the week. While discussing potential options, they noticed a lack of activities for the area’s teenagers and an increase in the number of small crimes—“crimes of boredom,” as lead pastor Jonathan Bow put it.
“They became aware the local Y was hoping to build a new facility, but it was going to take 10 years,” says Sean Graham, a representative of ImpleMedia Communications, which represents the church. “They suggested a partnership.”
Church members have given almost $10 million toward the project, with a loan and donations from the community funding the balance. The church will own the property and the 19 acres it sits on and will lease space to the YMCA.
“The partnership will create 200 new jobs, and the finished building will be what the YMCA leadership is calling a ‘flagship facility,’” says Graham. “The Y doesn’t offer programming on Sunday mornings or evenings, so Crosspointe will be able to use portions of the expanded campus as needed during those times, while creating a facility that will be serving our city in other ways throughout the week.”
The new building will include a large atrium and common area with a coffee shop featuring locally grown food, including fruits, vegetables, and herbs from gardens, and decorative plantings on the property. Profits from the restaurant will be donated to local charities, trees cleared from the property will be used for construction, and dirt excavated for construction will be used for landscaping.
“To our knowledge, this isn’t something that has been done before,” says lead pastor Bow. “But we’re hopeful it becomes paradigm-shifting in our city and across the country for how people and organizations can come together to do more than they could separately.”
Learn more at thewhyproject.net.