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Renovation underway at FPC

This rendering depicts the additional second tower that will be added to the First Presbyterian Church after the renovation is complete. (Courtesy Photo)

First Presbyterian Church in Greenville is getting a facelift that will create a ripple effect through the 165-year-old church, according to Rev. Jeff Hamm.

“We have limited space,” Hamm said. “This has been a long-range strategic plan. It’s a working dream of the congregation and the deacons.”

The project is being completed in two phases, according to contractor Galahad Smith with Southland Builders LLC.

The first phase will involve the North side of the property, or the side closest to Cedar Street.

“The church is currently meeting in the older part of the building and when phase one is completed, which is expected to take about four months to complete, then the church functions will be held in the phase-one area while the older part of the church, including the sanctuary, is renovated,” Smith said.

Changes to the church include two new classrooms in a new second-story area as well as a new covered walkway, which will lead to the new stair tower that will face Commerce Street and lead to a new choir balcony in the sanctuary.

After the pulpit wall is removed in the sanctuary, it will allow 11 more feet of space, which will create about 40 percent more seating.

“The changes will allow the occupant load in the sanctuary to be increased to 220 people,” Smith said.  “Along with the structural changes, several life safety issues are being addressed as well, such as a new integrated fire alarm system and the installation of a sprinkler system to comply with (National Fire Protection Association) requirements.”

Additionally, a conference, or Session room will be added and administration offices will be upgraded.

“The newer area will undergo aesthetic changes as well, such as new painting, and floor covering, while the interior of the older office area will be totally renovated with a new floor layout,” Smith said.

The project will take about 13 months to complete and architects Hugh Thornton and Susan Barron with the KPS Group are working on the project.

“It’s an incredibly beautiful renovation of this worship space,” Hamm said.