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New building at Community Alliance Church

Community Alliance Church Youth Pastor and Music Director Dave Christensen. BRIAN BASHAM/DL NEWSPAPERS

For the youth of Community Alliance Church, Wednesday nights have always been a little scattered.

Over the years, the youth group has moved from various locations throughout Detroit Lakes: The Refuge, Washington School, the basement of Serenity Salon.

Now, they have come home and are loving being in the same location as the rest of their church family.

“It was built specifically for them, and it makes them feel valued,” said Youth Pastor and Music Director Dave Christensen.

“We’re always been on the move and never had a home,” he said. “We’ve always been off-site.”

Until now.

The church constructed a new youth building on-site, and it’s been open to the kids the last two weeks. They held a ribbon cutting Sunday for the building, which also allowed parents and the community to come see the new digs.

“It was built with the idea of expanding it eventually,” Christensen said.

And with a drastic increase in youth this year, the building is already experiencing some of the expansion the church was planning for in the future.

There are about 65 or 70 middle school youth this fall — the church had planned for 35 — and about 25 high schoolers in Collide, the youth program at the church.

The two groups meet at different times, which gives Christensen and the other leaders the opportunity to focus the lessons on the different age groups.

“We’re excited to have it,” he said.

Thanks to a $100,000 donation, the building is completely paid for.

Inside the building is a worship area, a gymnasium with games, restrooms and a snack shop.

“The goal is to be used multiple times a week. Kids have somewhere to come and hang out, to play,” he said.

The gymnasium has air hockey, a basketball hoop and foosball set up. He said they will start having the building open after school for youth to hang out.

Another use for the building is practice space for the three youth bands the church is helping foster. The bands practice there and then play during the Wednesday night youth group meetings.

“We like to help kids develop their gifts and talents through music.”

Cody Edwards, who has been a part of the youth group and is now interning with Christensen, said that it’s been a good experience to watch the process from the ground up.

“It’s good to see the organization from the start to finish,” he said.

He has been helping move items out of storage and fill the new building.

“No matter what, this is still just a building,” Christensen said.

But it is a tool God provided for the church to use to reach youth, he added.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.