First Baptist preps for construction of center

Activities facility would be first element in long-term master plan

First Baptist Church officials are targeting a mid-2015 construction start for a family enrichment center, which would be the first element in a long-term updating of the church’s SoBro campus.

Hugh Sloan, chairman of the church's 15-member master plan implementation committee, said the FBC has enlisted R.C. Mathews as general contractor.

Nashville-based architectural firm ESa (Earl Swensson Associates Inc.) is handling design of the center, which is expected to include a gymnasium. The site, the address for which is 108 Seventh Ave. S., once accommodated FBC’s gym and activities center but suffered fire damage in 2012 and was later razed.

Sloan said the church is not ready to release a rendering of the planned center.

Information via (a construction industry website that congregates development information) shows the project with a minimum price tag of $5 million.

First Baptist Church officials plan to significantly improve their downtown site with new construction (read here).

Relatedly, the church recently announced it has two hotel developers bidding to acquire the parcel on which The Next Door operates and located at the northeast corner of the Eighth Avenue and Demonbreun Street intersection. Proceeds from that sale would help fund additions the FBC campus master plan additions.