River Valley Church, a collection of Assemblies of God congregations around the metro area, is planning to build its newest—and, eventually, biggest—location in Shakopee.
The church has been talking with the city of Shakopee about building a 30,000-square-foot, $4 million facility in the Southbridge neighborhood that would accommodate up to 800 worshippers, the Star Tribune is reporting.
"Some of our facilities have hit the max," the Rev. Rob Ketterling, the church's lead pastor, told the paper. "There are a few of our campuses that have hit ceilings, and we're trying to figure out how to make more room for growth."
At a later stage, the church plans to relocate its headquarters to Shakopee and add a 2,000-seat auditorium.
The Star Tribune has more on the project's progress:
River Valley has not filed any use permit applications or other paperwork with the city, according to Community Development Director Michael Leek, but selection of the Southbridge site comes after about six months of discussion between the church, city planning staff and Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke.
The church originally applied to build on a vacant 20-acre parcel along Hwy. 169 near Dean Lakes, Leek said. That site had all of the elements Ketterling said he looks for in a new campus: It was easily accessible and visible from the highway, with plenty of room for expansion.
However, the city attempted to guide development away from the site, which is a planned business park, a zoning designation that does not typically allow churches, Leek said. The city showed River Valley a few potential sites before the church settled on the parcel in Southbridge.
Started in 1995, River Valley was founded by Rob Ketterling and his wife, Becca, with a vision for church "outside the ordinary." As Ketterling describes it, "We want everything from our worship to our kid’s ministry to our Lifegroups to our lobby to be nothing you've ever experienced until you walk through our doors."
The Shakopee project is one of many satellites. The church expanded into Burnsville over fall of 2012 and also has campuses in Apple Valley, Faribault, Minnetrista, Savage and an international campus in Valencia, Spain.