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Advancing the $50 Million Family Life Project in Gang Mills: Key Updates

Foundation work is set to commence this spring on a new \(50 million, 124,000 square foot Family Life Ministry Center in the Town of Erwin. The upcoming facility will replace Family Life’s current location at 7634 County Road 14 outside Bath. Rick Snavely, the president and CEO, mentioned that the initial phase focusing on the building’s lowest load-bearing section is expected to take four to six months. Following the completion of the foundation work, the construction phase will kick off. The foundation work itself is estimated to cost around \)30 million, with the total project cost, including interior installation, reaching $50 million.

The interior of the building will showcase a 2,000-seat performing center theater, as highlighted by Erwin Town Manager Rita McCarthy. Additionally, the two-story wings flanking the 65-foot-tall performance center will accommodate Family Life’s radio broadcasting division, counseling services, the Center for the Arts, and staff office space.

Infrastructure work is currently in progress at the Steuben County site. Crews are actively engaged in site preparations, including the installation of a dewatering system for the basement beneath the stage area. Furthermore, a pit is being constructed to house the orchestra, positioned at least eight feet below the building’s surface to address groundwater concerns. Various underground tasks such as storm drainage, piping, water and sewer lines, and electrical conduits are also being undertaken by the construction crews.

The construction timeline for the new Family Life building includes the construction of a 12,000 square foot Maintenance Building on-site. The completion of the 124,000 square foot Family Life Ministry Center’s structure and landscaping is mandated to be achieved by Nov. 30, 2026. Family Life aims to finalize the exterior by the end of 2025 and subsequently shift focus to the interior, despite the initial site plan adjustments made to accommodate the Erwin planning board’s requirements.

Family Life Ministries, established in 1957, operates a listener-supported Christian radio station and various community programs offering contemporary Christian music, Biblical teachings, daily news, and radio dramas for children and families. Although the old Kanona building has undergone several expansions, it was deemed outdated, leading to the decision to purchase the Gang Mills site at the end of 2016 for expansion and remodeling purposes, eventually culminating in the decision to construct a new building.