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Faith West Breaks Ground

Faith Church is taking the next step in opening a community center in West Lafayette.

The congregation broke ground on the $12-million project Sunday.

The facility, called Faith West, is slated to open in July, 2013.

Pastor Steve Vyers says the goal is to be a resource for all area residents.

"I think it brings what the neighbors wanted to this site together," he said.  "That's always a fulfilling thing, when you can talk to people who live right here, to hear the various needs that they see, and then bring the resources together to meet those needs, that's what makes it so exciting."

Arvid Olson is Director of Development of Faith Ministries.

He says the project is the result of what the community identified as its greatest needs.

"We turned to the neighbors and said we've got more than we need here, what should we do with it?" Olson said. 

"All of a sudden, out of that came all of these discussions and here we are right now.   What a tremendous cooperation, what a long path, and a refining path.  Even the opposition helped us to hone and refine what we were talking about and what we wanted to accomplish and we had appreciate it.”

Some residents raised concerns that the project is getting tax breaks from the city, arguing that crosses the line between separation of church and state.

West Lafayette helped Faith Church secure $7-million in tax exempt bonds.

The 93,000-square foot facility is located along Northwestern Avenue.

Faith West features apartments, retail space, and fitness areas.

Pastor Steve Vyers believes the multipurpose gym will be at the center of most activity.

"I think that's where a lot of the community groups are going to meet.  That's where a lot of the community leagues are going to take place.  I believe a lot of folks who come to take part of Faith West, they are going to end up there and then run over to the restaurant for something to eat," he said. 

"I hope it's a third place for many who come, their work, their home, and then Faith West being a comfortable place to hang out with their friends and neighbors."