City officials joined congregation and community members for Bexley United Methodist Church's Nov. 24 groundbreaking on its $2.6-million renovation and expansion.
Helping to break ground were Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler and United Methodist Church regional officials, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer and District Superintendent Marcus Atha.
First constructed in 1926, the Bexley United Methodist Church buildings at 2657 E. Broad St., haven't been updated since the 1980s.
The new addition will accommodate the church's growing congregation and house new meeting and fellowship space, said Pastor Cary Simonton.
"It's going to help us grow and it's going to help us serve more people in the community -- not just Bexley, but the East Side," Simonton said. "It's a tool for us to serve more people."
The project began in October 2012 with fundraising within the church's congregation through a series of information meetings and a "celebration Sunday" to officially kick off the capital campaign last November.
Construction is scheduled to begin later this month or early next year.
The design includes large windows that will allow "people on the outside (to) get a view of activity going on inside," said Susan Zanner, who is heading up the capital campaign along with Michael Dion.
The church also plans to make the space available to the community, "should Bexley groups want to use it for programming, arts programming," Zanner said.
The addition will be called the Dorothea and Gerald Maloney Center for Life and Learning in recognition of the couple's years of service to the church.
Completion is scheduled for late 2014 or early 2015.