For the past six years, members of the New Albany Presbyterian Church have worshiped in the cafeteria of the New Albany 2-5 school.

For the past six years, members of the New Albany Presbyterian Church have worshiped in the cafeteria of the New Albany 2-5 school.

Soon, though, they hope to have a new and permanent home on the corner of Johnstown and Harlem roads.

Thanks to a land-exchange agreement between the church and the New Albany Co., church officials hope to break ground on the 11.5-acre site during spring 2011 and be ready to move in about a year later.

The agreement exchanges the land across from the Point of View gift shop with about five acres also on Johnstown Road, just southwest of the new site.

The church owns the 5001 Johnstown Road site, which houses the church office, a meeting venue and space for choir practice and other activities.

Brooke Cheney, head of the Presbyterian church's capital campaign, dubbed "faith taking shape," said members are now in phase two of fundraising, which will focus on outside fundraising.

Phase one focused on raising money from church members.

So far, the church has raised just over $1-million. Cheney said his committee hopes to raise about $2.4-million through both fundraising phases.

"All of this is to try to build the biggest down payment possible," he said. "It's a little bit like buying your first house -- you want to gather as much money (as possible) to get started."

Though church officials have been fundraising since 2007, the agreement with the New Albany Co. only went into place last November.

Cheney said the original plan was to construct the building on the church-owned site at 5001 Johnstown Road.

The land-swap agreement changed some of those plans for the better, he said.

"It's radically increased the size of the property and the configuration of the property and (created) an opportunity to really improve our original building plan," Cheney said. "Not only were we introducing phase two of the capital campaign, we had a completely new and better building design on really a better piece of property."

Allan Dinsmore, head of the church's building committee, said the land swap has allowed the church to consider adding to its building in the future.

"Initially, it will be the sanctuary, classrooms, a couple of offices and a small gathering place," he said. "(We will be) leaving room to expand."

Dinsmore said the current architectural rendering shows the sanctuary with a capacity of about 300 people. The addition could increase the capacity up to 800.

David Milroy, head pastor at the New Albany Presbyterian Church, said he hopes the new building would be able to serve the community in new ways.

"We hope to have Wi-Fi and a caf and use that place to meet and hang out and have a cup of coffee," he said. "We wanted to create a space that is flexible to accommodate different ways of communicating."

He said the whole congregation is excited.

"There has been a lot of anticipating building behind the building," Milroy said.

Tom Rubey, director of development for the New Albany Co., said moving the church to the 11.5-acre site fits the community master plan.

"There is a real opportunity for a church to be developed on this site, which is a great site," he said. "It is highly visible along Route 62."

He said the new church building will be just down the street from Temple Beth Shalom and All Saints Episcopal Church.

"It's consistent with our master plan on the Route 62 corridor," Rubey said. "It's all fallen into place nicely and neatly.... I can't think of a better use for that corner there."