The city of Prairie Village has closed on the $1.1 million purchase of the Faith Lutheran Church property at 67th Street and Roe Avenue, and will soon begin the process of transforming the three-acre site into a new public park.
The Prairie Village City Council approved the purchase of the building and land last December following the congregation’s vote to disband amid financial pressures in 2016. The church held a Homecoming celebration for current and former members in June and its final service in August.
Public Works Director Keith Bredehoeft said that the city would likely hire a consultant to assist in the design of the new park by the end of December, with the city and consultant to hold public meetings on what features residents want to see at the park in the months that follow.
The contract to demolish the building will go out for bid next month, with actual demolition expected to begin in January. Bredehoeft said the site should be prepped for work to begin on parks amenities by the summer with an opening projected for early fall 2018. The city has included approximately $1 million in its 2018 capital improvement budget for the creation of the new park.
Members of the city council inquired on Monday whether any of the stained glass windows from the building would be salvageable. Bredehoeft said that based on the way the windows were constructed, it was “almost impossible” to retrieve meaningful parts of the stained glass intact.
While the closing of the six decade old congregation was difficult for many longtime members, many have taken solace in the fact that the property will be used as a community amenity for future generations and that proceeds from the sale of the property are going to good causes. At the annual Power of Each One gala put on by Metro Lutheran Ministries on Saturday, Faith Lutheran board president Bob Lindeblad presented the organization with a check for $300,000 from the proceeds of the building sale. That money will be used in part to start a new housing program.