Starting on May 11, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Iowa Speedway Drive in Newton began a large scale construction project with plans for a 30-foot addition as well as a total interior remodel. Built in 1992, everything from new flooring to walls and the ceiling is getting a new look.
“The main reason for it is growth in our congregation,” said Dwight Kennedy, an elder at the hall.
Also, as part of the remodel, they will be adding a substantial upgrade to their media system in order to accommodate televised video presentations and current technological advances. They hope these features will help the congregation be able to access more information online as well as through their phones.
“We’re just trying to stay ahead of things that are coming in the future,” said Kennedy.
All work is done mainly on the weekends by an entirely volunteer crew. Volunteers come from the Minnesota to the Missouri border and from Highway 14 to the Mississippi River.
All tradesmen who work on the building are licensed in their respective fields and are working in their spare time.
“This weekend will be a big weekend in that all of the trades people are all volunteers. All work is going to get done this weekend,” Kennedy said. “We’re probably going to have about 200 plus people in this weekend to try to bring it almost to a finish.” While the big crew is here they hope to get all electrical, plumbing and landscaping done leaving just the carpet for the week to come.
Since contruction began the congregation has been meeting every Tuesday at the Jasper County Community Center as well as a brief service on Sundays at the hall.
“Everybody in their work clothes and we bring everybody inside and have an abbreviated meeting and then turn it back into a construction zone,” said Kennedy.
With construction coming to a close in the near future, the congregation is eager to get into their “new” building and begin enjoying the many new additions.