Trinity Lutheran Church is interested in leasing a former church sanctuary that Douglas County currently uses as storage space.
The church, 1245 N.H., in conjunction with Lutheran Campus Ministry of Kansas University, will prepare a study to determine the feasibility of repairing the old sanctuary at 13th and Massachusetts streets - and then using it for ministry, services and outreach programs.
The Rev. Gary Teske and other church representatives met today with county commissioners to explain their interest. In addition to giving the church more space, it would increase its visibility to the public, he said.
"We're looking at expanding services to the community around here," Teske said.
Commissioners were receptive. In fact, Commissioner Charles Jones called it a "great opportunity."
The former sanctuary is in what was once an Assembly of God Church.
Other areas of the former church are used as offices for Douglas County Public Works Department. In the past, commissioners have discussed consolidating the public works offices with its operations division at one location still to be determined.
Jeff Needham, a Trinity church member and structural engineer, said it would take hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair and renovate the sanctuary. If an agreement were reached, the church would pick up that cost. This morning, Trinity discussed using only the sanctuary.
"This was built as a church, and it's still a good church," Needham said.
Jones and Commissioners Bob Johnson and Jere McElhaney said they would be open to a church proposal if it fits with the county's long-term needs. They directed public works director Keith Browning to come up with a relocation proposal for his department.
A formal proposal from Trinity is expected in six months, Teske and Needham said.