How do you move a 10,500-square-foot church from one city to another? Well, you cut it into four pieces and drive it, of course.
That’s exactly what’s happening north of Edmonton this week.
The church, located on the north end of St. Albert, is on the move to Morinville.
In order to get the massive structure ready to move, crews had to cut the building into four pieces and load them onto separate semi trucks.
Each piece of the church weighs between 120,000 and 140,000 pounds. The pieces are between 13 and 14 metres wide, 20 to 21 metres long and about 10.5 metres high.
Work to load the pieces onto the trucks began over the weekend. On Sunday, the trucks hit the road for the nearly 18-kilometre journey to Morinville, which is being made through farmers’ fields.
On Tuesday afternoon, the journey was in the home stretch.
The church closed about two years ago. The building and land were then purchased by Landrex, which donated the building to Morinville Christian Fellowship.
Pastor Greg Fraser said the move cost about $1 million. With the cost of putting the building back together and an expansion, the total bill was about $3.8 million. Moving the church rather than building a new one saved them about $1 million, Fraser explained.
The cost of the move was paid for through donations from the congregation.
“It’s been a journey of probably 10 years for our congregation, just waiting to get into a new church building,” Fraser explained, adding the congregation is made up of about 400 people.
“In Morinville, we actually meet in three different locations. This is going to allow us to come into one location. We have not only a school, but a church and a large youth ministry. They meet in three different areas. Now they’re going to be in one building. It’s quite incredible.”
Once the pieces make their way to the new location in Morinville, the building will be put back together on an basement foundation.
“To me, it’s one of the greatest reduce, reuse, recycle projects in Alberta right now,” Fraser said.
With an expansion, they hope to open the new 22,000-square-foot church before Christmas.