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Massive church in PoCo's Dominion Triangle aims to be a community centre
A church on Port Coquitlam's north side will look more like a community centre than a place of worship and is expected to be an important facility for residents moving to homes in the Dominion Triangle.
With a full-size gymnasium, a 1,150-seat theatre and 10,000 sq. ft. banquet facility complete with professional kitchen, the new Riverside Community Church is expected to be larger than PoCo's Hyde Creek recreation centre.
"When you think of the construction of a church... you think of a very formal place," said David Ehrhardt, a Riverside parishioner who leads the church's building committee. "The agenda we were given by leadership was to come up with a community facility."
While the building houses a 220-seat chapel, there is more than enough room for other activities besides worship.
The facility will have a large recreation component featuring a full-size gymnasium and workout area with seats allocated for spectators. There will also be a 20-seat cafe and book store that will operate throughout the week.
"We hope that this gymnasium is a place where where people in the community feel comfortable to come in and participate," Ehrhardt said.
Opportunities for dinner theatre and large theatrical events will also be available in the building's 750-seat theatre, which has the capacity for 300 additional seats in an upper balcony. There will also be an orchestra pit and a full-size kitchen. An outdoor amphitheatre will be used for watching movies and for other events. As well, the facility will house a daycare centre capable of handling 125 children and a youth activity centre will be located on the site.
Terry Janzen, a Riverside pastor, said the new facility will work to connect the neighbourhood and bring new members into the fold.
"People start to see the church as irrelevant," he said. "We have really had to think about how to make our church accessible to the community."