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Massena Village Planning Board approves church and community center site plan for Victory Road

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MASSENA - A new church and community center in Massena could open its doors next spring after a site plan was approved by the village’s planning board on Wednesday.

Salvation Army Captain Russell Crowsen appeared before the board Wednesday to share the plan and request approval for the church and community center to be located at 178 Victory Road.

“(Mr. Crowsen) is requesting site plan approval to construct a church and community center. ... In a letter dated Oct. 28, (it says) ‘... the building is to be used as a church and community space. ... The chapel is to be used for weekly church services as well as Sunday classes if needed. ... Each craft room is designed for tables with white boards and some for educational spaces,” planning board Chairman Frank Hutt said. “The offices are for the pastors and administrators to complete work as well as hold meetings with four or five people.

“The reception is for a secretary to meet with clients to determine how the Salvation Army is able to help them as well as completing the secretarial work. Food storage holds the food until it is placed in our food pantry.”

Mr. Hutt pointed out that the county had reviewed the proposal and was leaving the decision up to the planning board. They did, however, have a suggestion regarding the layout of the building. “The staff suggested that the applicant may want to consider re-orienting the building so that the main entrance is on the same side of the building as the parking lot,” Mr. Hutt said.

“The reason we put the parking lot the way we did is just because of the lay of the land. The old building, they only have enough space for the parking area and just for appearance reasons we don’t want to have people driving by and seeing the back of the building,” Mr. Crowsen responded. “So we thought it would look nicer for the community this way.”

Mr. Crowsen’s also said that he plans to utilize the gymnasium for children’s games and other activities.

“It’s not a full size court, but it’s a little bit over half. The ceiling is going to be 14 feet high in the gym, so it does make a nice space to play,” he said.

In terms of snow removal services, Mr. Crowsen noted that they have already hired someone for the work. For lighting, he said that there will not be anything too extensive.

“The only lights there are going to be are going to be on the building, for security purposes, like motion lights and stuff like that. There won’t be any McDonald’s type lights, anything like that,” he said.

Mr. Crowsen said that the group is aiming to break ground on Nov. 19, before progressing through the winter.

“The ultimate goal is to have it finished by the end of February and then we can move in early March and give little tours. Then in May, we can have the official ribbon cutting.”

Before approving the site plan, the board made a request to obtain front and side elevation views of the building from Mr. Crowsen. He will supply the board with those documents within 10 days.

Mr. Crowsen said that he will be working on the project with the general contracting group, ModSpace.

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