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New Life Church and Academy to expand

New Life Church and Academy will soon expand to give students and worshipers more room to breathe.

The project will include a 12,769 square-foot, two-level family ministry center addition and a remodel of the existing space.

"This project is not so much an expansion, but more breathing room," said New Life Church Operations Manger Jon Skjefte.

New Life Church and Academy, which is located on a 40-acre lot at the northwest corner of Bailey Road and Lydia Lane, sees about 450 attendees at church every Sunday.

The student population at the Christian school totals 677 and is projected to go up to 850 before another expansion is required, Skjefte said.

Woodbury Planning Commission approved a conditional-use permit for the expansion Monday, March 18, where parking and traffic concerns were part of the discussion.

Planning Commissioner Al Rudnickas asked if traffic on Bailey Road from the future Urban Village was considered when making this plan.

City Planner Eric Searles said a traffic study for the church and academy focused more on the onsite operations and access points.

Further traffic studies would have to be done by Washington County to determine if widening Bailey Road is necessary.

Skjefte said a second access point to the building is not required just yet, however, he understands traffic within the parking lot can get crowded.

"You've got to jet in and jet out real quick," he said.

Part of the conditional-use permit is a slight modification to the parking lot configuration, with the existing drop off eliminated and replaced by an east-west drive lane.

Woodbury City Council is set to review the plans in an upcoming meeting.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.