The space where the building will go up currently sits as an empty lot across from the offices on West Douglas Avenue. Jacksonville aldermen approved a zoning request this week that Salvation Army Major Charles Pinkston says gives them the green light to move forward.
“We’re getting very close to having construction documents drawn up. We’ve spent the last month, month-and-a-half working through a couple of things with the city, but I think we’re past that at this point,” says Pinkston. “Now we just need to confirm the construction documents, get those ready to be sent out for approval, and then we can move forward.”
Pinkston says the current estimated cost is $2.8 million, which is about $300-thousand higher than the previous estimate. He says about half of the money has already been gotten through donations.
“What’ we’re looking to do is actually take out a mortgage for the remainder. So, we still have a lot of fundraising to do to get the building paid off, but it’s already been eight years in the process, and we really need to move forward in getting this building built so we can better serve the community,” he says.
Pinkston says the current timeline lays out a groundbreaking prior to the end of 2015. He says further construction activity still needs to be approved through the city and through the Salvation Army headquarters in Chicago.
The Citadel will have a chapel, meeting rooms, a gymnasium with lockers, a kitchen and expanded eating area, and more rooms to facilitate Salvation Army programs.