A fire-damaged community center that’s part of Brooklyn’s oldest church is being resurrected just in time for Easter.
Officials at the Flatbush Reform Church say their “Church House,” a nearly 80-year-old building on the grounds of the iconic church, will be reopened this week, more than a year after an electrical fire caused its closure.
“It was an act of God that — as unfortunate as it is — led to the building being refurbished in a way that we would otherwise not have been able to do,” said Pastor Dan Ram.
Frayed wiring that was original to the building, which was built in 1924, caused the Jan. 14, 2010 blaze, Ram said. Insurance is paying for the repairs, which include new wiring, circuit breakers and a sprinkler system.
Additionally, suspended ceilings are replacing the old, asbestos-laden plaster ones. Construction crews are wrapping work up now.
Since the fire, the church has been without community center staples like a soup kitchen, a nursery school, a summer day camp, and tax workshops — and neighborhood meetings had to be moved into the church itself, which wasn’t a good fit.
“We did what we could in the church. We had community meetings in the actual sanctuary, but there are some things you can’t do,” Ram said of the 357-year-old main building, where services are held. “It’s built for worship, not for meetings.”
©2011 Community News Group
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