SPRING GROVE – LifeSpring Community Church in Spring Grove has proposed a community center on a 21½-acre property off Route 173.
LifeSpring officials went before Spring Grove’s Village Board during an open session last week to discuss the proposal. They are working with architects to develop site drawings and layout plans before bringing those plans to village officials for a planned unit development for the property, said Cabot Ashwill, senior pastor at the church.
“What we are hoping to do is build the community center for Richmond, Spring Grove and our surrounding areas,” he said. “It’s not just for church use. It will be used for the community.”
LifeSpring Community Church in Spring Grove was founded about seven years ago, and the congregation has grown since its inception. Once operated out of houses, the church holds its worship, services and events at a building at 2503 Spring Ridge Drive, Spring Grove.
The proposed development – located at the northwest corner of Route 173 and Siedschlag Road – could include walking trails, playgrounds, splash pads, ballfields, auditorium space and places for classes. It depends on feedback from the community, Ashwill said.
LifeSpring plans to reach out to community members in surrounding towns, local chambers of commerce and businesses to find out what people would like to see offered in the space, he said. Ashwill also envisions a sort of pedestrian-friendly “town square” at the center of the development.
“We want to bless the community in the same way God blesses us,” he said.
When the topic was brought up at a recent meeting, some people were wary of the idea because church operations are exempt from property taxes, Ashwill said. Therefore, if LifeSpring develops the land, the village won’t see any returned revenue on property taxes.
Ashwill said LifeSpring is willing to work with the village to strike a mutually beneficial deal. LifeSpring will need to go before village officials with a plan before moving ahead with the proposal.