A $20 million expansion for a New Albany church could begin in late spring or early summer, according to Tim Keesee, a pastor for the church.

"We're hoping it would be earlier than later," he said.

Faith Life Church, at 2407 Beech Road NW, has a 50,000-square-foot building on 37 acres, Keesee said. Plans include building a 150,000-square-foot addition for new and current programs, as well as a 2,000-seat auditorium for weekend services, he said.

The project will take about 18 months, he said.

About 3,000 people, primarily from Gahanna, Johnstown, New Albany, Pataskala and Westerville, attend the nondenominational church's weekend services, Keesee said.

The church employs about 60 full- and part-time staff members, Keesee said, and the number of employees could increase to more than 100.

The New Albany Planning Commission approved Faith Life Church's final development plan Oct. 15.

Now that the plan has received approval from the city's boards and commissions, Faith Life Church can submit permit applications to begin construction, said Stephen Mayer, New Albany's development-services manager.

The first step of construction would be to submit and receive approval for engineering plans for site work, he said. After the church receives engineering-plan approval, it can submit a building permit, he said.

New Albany City Council does not review final development plans, Mayer said.

Faith Life Church entered into a right-of-way-dedication agreement with the city when the properties were annexed, Mayer said.

City Council approved the annexation on July 3 and it became effective Aug. 3, he said.

The right-of-way-dedication agreement allows a public street to be constructed in the northern portion of the property in the future, Mayer said.

The road isn't proposed for construction right now, though, he said.

"Planning commission and City Council will have to review and approve the final plat for this street in the future," Mayer said.

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