MASSENA - The dream of the $1.4 million Salvation Army Worship and Service Center is now a reality after a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon outside its future location on Victory Road.
Salvation Army officers, Advisory Board volunteers and Salvation Army Empire Division staff were on hand for the event, as were Mayor James F. Hidy, village Planning Board Chairman Frank Hutt and about two dozen others.
The new building will be located at 178 Victory Road, directly across from the current Salvation Army offices on Russell Road.
“What we’re celebrating today is the steadfastness of the Massena efforts both with those connected to the Salvation Army and those in the community. (Also) the dedication of local residents to the new facility that we feel will meet the needs of the army,” Major Donald Hostetler, divisional commander of the Empire State Division of the Salvation Army, said.
“We really appreciate the support of the Massena residents over the years. It’s been a slow haul at times, but the Salvation Army has finally made a commitment of corporate resources to fulfill the promises of constructing a facility for the army here that allows us to expand our efforts to serve the citizens of this community and especially the youth of this community.”
The site plan for the center was approved at the village planning board’s meeting two weeks ago.
The site previously housed the Salvation Army administrative offices, food pantry and chapel but was demolished several years ago.
At the planning board meeting, Mr. Crowsen noted that they will be utilizing the services of the general contracting group, ModSpace.
Ms. Crowsen explained Tuesday afternoon that the ground breaking ceremony is not only about the Salvation Army, but the surrounding community as well. “We know that as we break ground this (afternoon) that this center is not just about the Salvation Army. It’s about the community here in Massena, and we know that it will offer partnership both for the building, as well as the programs that are going to be housed in it,” she said.
“We just want to thank you. We know that this is a blessing for all of us. We are excited to begin the work that’s going to be happening here to build this new facility here in Massena for the Salvation Army.”
She added that work is able to occur during the winter because the style of building does not require warm weather. The new building will be three times the size of the current 8,400 square feet structure.
It will hold a chapel, food pantry area and storage area, gymnasium/multi-purpose room, several classrooms, a commercial kitchen and offices.
The Empire State Division oversees services in 48 Upstate New York counties, plus Sayre, Pa.
Mr. and Ms. Crowsen also serve as the pastors and administrators of the Center.
Mr. Hostetler said construction will begin immediately, and an official dedication is scheduled for April 26, 2014.