First Bossier unveils rebuild plans following devastating fire

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Rendering of the new plans for First Bossier Chapel and Events Center. (Courtesy of First Bossier)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Five months after a fire heavily damaged three-quarters of its facilities, First Bossier has taken the first steps toward rebuilding. 

The baptist church unveiled the details of the plan to rebuild its campus to the congregation earlier this month.

In the early morning hours of Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 a fire caused by an uninterruptible power supply at an office near Faith Chapel heavily damaged multiple buildings, including a section of the church known as the old sanctuary.

First Bossier Pastor Brad Jurkovich says that after hearing from his members, he believes they are ready to move into the future.

“I think First Bossier is ready to move forward, they are ready to dream big, they are ready to build for the next generation,” said Jurkovich.

Interior of the new First Bossier Chapel. (Courtesy of First Bossier)

To begin the process, a committee was put together consisting of six church members with backgrounds ranging from engineers and architects to business people. The rebuild committee utilized each of their specific talents and brainstormed ideas for the new facility. 

“Our team began to ask, ‘Do we really need to rebuild that much space for effective ministry?’” he said. “The more space you build the more it will cost, and the more you have to pay in heating, cooling, and upkeep.

Jurkovich said after much thought, they decided not to replace all of the nearly 100,000 square feet of facilities lost in the fire.

“We did a study, we don’t need 100,000 square feet,” he said.

Approximately 65,000 square feet of lost space will be rebuilt. Plans include a new chapel that will incorporate some of the more traditional features of the original building, a new foyer, students space, small group space, a hallway connecting all the spaces, and some general upgrades around the campus. 

“We want to maximize the space and money we have. It would be cool to utilize the insurance money and do what we need to do and not have any debt after that,” he said. “We want to rebuild in such a way that the flow and cohesiveness are very smooth for members and guests, security is maximized, and that our buildings communicate ‘families, warmth, life and relationships.’”

Demolition is currently underway, and construction could begin as soon as fall 2019.