Verona parish moves into old bowling alley
VERONA, Wis. — A Verona parish is making the big move to a new location at a facility that’s a little out of the ordinary.
Sunday marked the first service for the Sugar River Methodist Church at its new location on West Verona Road. Parishioners say the move has been a long time coming, but the place they picked might come as a surprise.
“A bar and a bowling alley turns into a church, that’s kind of unusual,” says parishioner Matt Bell.
Sugar River is now holding its services on the upper level of what used to be Wildcat Lanes. The congregation will soon move downstairs, where lanes are currently still set up, once construction ends.
“It is pretty funny, no question about that,” says Pastor Gary Holmes.
Pastor Holmes says after a decade of growth in the Verona community, it was time for his church to find a new home.
“It took some vision and commitment to say this could be a good place for us, and I’m really excited about how it’s coming together,” he says.
“You can’t imagine how many times I get the question or people get the question, ‘So what are you going to do with the bowling alley lanes?'” says Brian Driscoll, building team leader for the project.
The parish actually does have a plan for those lanes, with the hope that it can re-use almost all the wood on stairs or other projects within the church. That transformation won’t be complete until spring of 2015.
It may be the ultimate second chance story for the space, once known for spares, that is now a place for prayer.