Church Expansion - Pastor Ross Davie and wife Mary-Lyn Davie from Bayside Christian Church. Photo: Cody Fox
Church Expansion - Pastor Ross Davie and wife Mary-Lyn Davie from Bayside Christian Church. Photo: Cody Fox

Bay church reveals plans to build mega hub

THE Bayside Christian Church has unveiled its vision to build a 900 seat auditorium to cater for its growing congregation and to service other key community needs.

The church hosted an engagement session in Pialba last week.

Pastor Ross Davie discussed their bold plans to upgrade the Neils St property.

"We don't just want a building that is used for church on Sundays and maybe youth on a Friday evening," Pr Davie said.

He said the proposed upgrades included a cafe, children's play area, covered BBQ area and storage and office space.

"We regularly have to turn people wanting to use our current set-up away because we can't meet their needs in terms of space," Pr Davie explained.

The proposed upgrades would include some of the current buildings.

Pr Davie said existing facilities would be used for smaller ceremonies like weddings, youth programs, childcare and an over 60s chapel.

Initial estimates suggest the project would cost about $3.5 million.

"Our plan is to raise $1 million this year," Pr Davie said.

He said 2020 would be spent getting the necessary approvals from the council and finalising plans.

"Our intention would be to begin construction in 2021," Pr Davie said.

Pr Davie said the Hervey Bay area was growing and needed modern facilities for conferencing, events and seminars, boardrooms, counselling facilities and exercise and dance studios.

"We want to partner with the community and develop a complex that can be used by churches, schools, businesses and local organisations," he said.

Current plans would see the floor of the auditorium remaining flat so that it could operate as a multipurpose facility.

Pr Davie said the main section of the auditorium would be able to seat 650 people, with spill areas catering for another 250.

"If we went too big the atmosphere would be lost for smaller events," he said.

Pr Davie said it was important for the church to look to the future and invest in projects that could be used by the generations to come.