April 22, 2008

Brentwood to install new traffic signals at busy intersection

Big changes ahead at very busy corner
The Tennessean, April 16, 2008
BRENTWOOD — A new, 75,000-square-foot building might actually improve Sunday morning traffic woes around the intersection of Concord and Franklin roads this summer.
A $5.7 million multipurpose building is going up on the Brentwood Baptist Church campus, but only because the church and its neighbor, Fellowship Bible Church, agreed to pay for new traffic signals, extra turn lanes into the two sites and a new shared driveway between the churches.
The city's Planning Commission asked for the upgrades because the traffic produced by these large congregations can clog roadways on Sunday mornings as well as other days of the week.
"If you're here Sunday mornings on Franklin Road, it's congested," said Wayne Price with Fellowship Bible Church.
City Senior Planner Jeff Dobson said the changes on Concord Road would help keep traffic flowing in the area during those peak hours.
The new traffic signals will likely be the most noticeable change for area residents.
One will be at Brentwood Baptist's existing Concord Road entrance. The second will be between that light and the one at the intersection with Franklin Road. This will give both churches two ways in and out.
Churches cover costsThe churches are paying for the upgrades. Price said this is one way of giving back to the community since the congregations don't pay property taxes.
"Having done a lot of planning, I think we have a pretty good capacity plan that should help the entire community."
He said the road and lighting projects should be finished this summer, but it'll take longer than that to complete the new facility that's spurred all this additional work.
"We are building what we're calling The Connection Center," said Steve Smith, Brentwood Baptist's communications minister.
"It will house about 1,000 seats, which we will use for worship opportunities for some of our individual groups within the church, as well as student ministry will use that for their gatherings."
Auditorium isn't allIn addition to the auditorium, the center will include a coffeehouse, a Christian bookstore, 30 small-group breakout rooms, 10 adult and student Bible study classrooms, two three-on-three basketball courts and eight classrooms and offices for the BBC Deaf Church.
"After moving to this campus in 2002, we just didn't have a place for folks to hang out and build more community," Smith said.
The Connection Center will connect to the main church building, and Smith said it should be open by mid- to late 2009. Once the student ministry and Deaf Church move into the center, the space they leave behind in the existing building will be remodeled and then occupied by the preschool and children's ministries.
Brentwood Baptist and Fellowship Bible are also getting additional parking spots, which is part of their joint roadwork project.

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