By SHELLY SLATER / WFAA-TV
DALLAS — First Baptist Church Dallas announced plans Sunday to build a $130 million state-of-the-art campus in the middle of the downtown Dallas arts district.
It is expected to be the largest expansion in the modern history of a congregation with roots dating back 140 years in Dallas.
The 1.5 million square foot campus includes a new 3,000-seat worship center, a six-story education building, more than 500 parking spots and an acre of green space with a fountain.
The entire project would be certified green.
Church leaders have already raised $62 million for the expansion, and because the economic downturn means construction costs are down, the church estimates it can save $1.30 for for every dollar spent.
First Baptist's current sanctuary, which dates back to 1890, will be preserved.
Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is a member of the church and supporter of the expansion. He said this will further revitalize downtown Dallas and is another way to urbanize and attract people to the city's center.
If all goes well, the church says construction will begin next fall and will be complete by 2013.
To see more on this build, including visuals, go to First Baptist Church of Dallas' web site. In just a brief browsing of their web site, I find it interesting that in the culturally/ethnically diverse city of Dallas that all the top level leaders of this church are white. Just sayin'. I'd love to see their budget now, and then 10 years from now to see just how/if this huge capital investment pays off for them, as that is a mind blowing about of money on a facility. I hope it does.