The Lutheran Center on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus has already set a record for the most money raised by a college ministry in the history of the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America.
The center, located on 16th Street on UNL's campus, has raised $4.6 million as part of an effort to fund construction of a new church. But organizers still need $1 million more — $5.6 million total — to fully fund a new building in the same location, campus pastor Adam White said.
The project comes as roof, termite and other issues with the current building have piled up in recent years, he said.
"We just looked at the building and we knew we had to do something," White said.
White said staying in the same location was important when planning the new project.
"The best route to go was to do an entirely new construction, but we wanted to stay on the same footprint," he said. "There is really no better place on campus to do campus ministry than this one. We're right in the middle of Greek Row and residential life."
White is hoping the new building will be completed by the fall of 2020.
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The concrete and steel foundation of the current building will stay put, but the new building will have several new features, such as a student housing facility, White said.
"It will be a discipleship-formation living community focused on faith, vocation and service," he said.
White said the student living facility may become student-approved housing through UNL, but they want to gauge if it will be the best choice to let freshmen live in the facility before opening it up.
"It's a cliche that the Lutheran Center is a home away from home," Lutheran Center member and UNL student John Grimvalds said, "but it really is literally going to be a home for students now. They're going to have that sense of community, that sense of place."
The current center hosted its last service Sunday afternoon, and people gathered at the St. Mark's Episcopal Church after for a celebration. The Lutheran Center campus ministry will be housed at St. Mark's for the next year.
"It's really moving that St. Mark's and their community is opening their doors to us," Grimvalds said.