Today, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport will break ground for a $6.3 million project designed to strengthen the congregation’s outreach to the Quad-City community.

The project includes the construction of a new 12,000-square-foot sanctuary, the remodeling of the existing sanctuary into a chapel, and connecting hospitality spaces.

Worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. will conclude with a congregational procession from the current sanctuary to the groundbreaking site just southwest of the existing facility. Identical services of dedication will be held at approximately 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.

The sanctuary addition, which will be visible from Brady Street just south of Vander Veer Botanical Park, will blend new construction with the church’s historic Georgian Colonial architecture. A tower of light will be a prominent feature of the new sanctuary. By day, the glass-lined tower will drop natural light on worshippers 65 feet below. By night, the tower will radiate light to the surrounding community.

With double the floor space of the existing sanctuary, the new worship center will accommodate future growth, allowing for as many as 750 seats. The space is designed to serve persons who live with disabilities. It also will incorporate 21st-century expectations for audio and visual technology. The existing series of 11 stained glass windows will be installed in the new sanctuary as a wall of art.

The new sanctuary, scheduled for completion in fall 2007, will be dedicated in the congregation’s 125th-anniversary year. In addition, a newly-crafted 47-rank, 42-stop pipe organ has been contracted with M.L. Bigelow and Co. of American Fork, Utah, and is expected to be installed in early 2008.

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Estes Construction Co., Davenport, is the general contractor for the project. The architect is the Groth Design Group, Cedarburg, Wis.

St. Paul Lutheran Church was founded in 1882 as the first English-speaking Lutheran church in Davenport.

First located at 14th and Main streets, the congregation moved to its current sanctuary in 1952.

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