Up to 200 volunteers are laboring at the new hall, where construction began just three weeks ago. And their work should be done in less than another three weeks.
“It’s been a lot of things happening at the same time,” said Larry Mack, an elder in the Jehovah’s Witnesses Lake Park congregation. “We’re hoping to have occupancy by the end of this month.”
Exterior work has already been finished, so skilled workers from throughout northern Ohio have moved indoors to do texturing and painting. All are freely giving of their time and skills to build this Kingdom Hall, Mack said.
The only work not done by volunteers was the demolition of the long-closed Ganley Dodge West car dealership and construction of the new hall’s foundation. Estimated cost of the project is $1 million, according to Ward 19 Councilman Marty Keane.
It will be the center of worship for four congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses — two English congregations, a sign language congregation for the hearing-impaired community and a Greek congregation, Mack said.
Of the English congregations, one is the Lakewood congregation of nearly 100 persons which temporarily relocated to Avon. The other is the Lake Park congregation of 120 people, which has found temporary quarters on Madison Avenue near West Boulevard in Cleveland.
The sign language congregation is also of similar size, about 100 people. Mack did not have information on the size of the Greek congregation.
“The congregations are very happy with the location in the Kamm’s Corners area and to be part of the (neighborhood’s) recent improvements,” he said.
Meanwhile, the existing Kingdom Hall on Rocky River Drive at Chatfield Avenue will continue to support three English congregations after the new hall on Lorain opens, he noted.
Will city building inspectors be able to keep up with the barn-raising speed at which the volunteers are working?
“Actually, the inspections are occurring as we’re working,” Mack said. “They’ve been cooperative. They’re familiar with the quality of the workmanship.”