“If you put your sweat and blood into issues,” pastor says, “you don’t wish to see it torn down.”
Editor’s be aware • This story is accessible to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers solely. Thanks for supporting native journalism.
The reminiscence is slightly blurry, however Josh Warneke remembers as a younger boy cleansing up building trash, transferring boards and sweeping flooring to assist construct the Bible Baptist Church.
He spent most of his childhood in that Taylorsville constructing, the place his father, Marshall, was pastor.
Warneke additionally remembers being round 12 years previous and serving to to erect the church’s schoolhouse. By that point, he was sufficiently old to swing hammers and carry shingles up a ladder.
Beneath that roof and inside these partitions, Warneke grew up and have become a pastor himself.
Now the church, with all these recollections, stands in the best way of a highway undertaking and has to relocate after 43 years on its basis.
The Utah Division of Transportation plans to raze the constructing and others — together with dozens of properties — to assemble a freeway-style intersection on Bangerter Freeway and 4700 South alongside the border of Taylorsville and neighboring West Valley Metropolis.
It might open in 2025 to ease congestion within the space, and follows related Bangerter initiatives at 6200 South, 10400 South and 12600 South.
“If you put your sweat and blood into issues,” Warneke mentioned, “you don’t wish to see it torn down.”
‘Knew this was coming’
The dislocation is hardly a shock. Church leaders have seen the transformations going down alongside the freeway for a while.
“We knew this was coming,” Warneke mentioned. “And you may see it taking place each step alongside the best way.”
The pastor even contacted UDOT earlier than the plan was introduced. However such initiatives take time, and the division didn’t have funding then to begin engaged on the 4700 South interchange.
Now that the plan is in movement, the Bible Baptist Church is attempting to determine its subsequent transfer, but it surely’s tough as a result of officers don’t know but what sort of buyout it is going to obtain from the state.
“We’re nonetheless form of in limbo,” Warneke mentioned. “We’ve been searching for properties to relocate to, however we don’t even understand how a lot now we have to work with.”
Transferring a congregation
To make the brand new interchange potential, the state must purchase greater than 17 acres. It might have an effect on 91 parcels — 55 partial property acquisitions (41 residential parcels and 14 industrial ones) and 36 full property acquisitions (29 residential parcels and 7 industrial ones).
Property house owners can be compensated below guidelines within the Utah Relocation Help Act and Actual Property Acquisition Insurance policies Act, with the state shopping for the properties at honest market worth.
UDOT hires third-party appraisers to find out the worth of the properties. It additionally takes under consideration variables reminiscent of the present actual property market, and the way a lot it might value property house owners to maneuver into an analogous setup to the one they’re leaving, mentioned Brian Allen, UDOT undertaking supervisor. It additionally covers the price of any particular additions that properties might have and transferring bills.
“It’s simply form of scary” for property house owners, Allen conceded. “…We now have a really sturdy relocation course of to assist individuals get right into a scenario related or higher sooner or later.”
Warneke wish to maintain his church on the Salt Lake Valley’s west facet. It averages about 85 worshippers at Sunday companies.
Other than the church constructing, Bible Baptist’s land consists of two triplexes, which give housing for workers and ministry officers who journey to Utah.
The church additionally makes use of land within the rear, the place people can backyard. “Wherever we relocate to,” Warneke mentioned, “I don’t know that we’ll get to have slightly farm like that.”
Dropping his church’s place within the neighborhood weighs closely on the pastor’s thoughts.
“It’s positively an enormous loss,” he mentioned. “Individuals round right here, who don’t actually come to the church, say it’d be a disgrace to see that go as a result of this place is sort of a landmark.”
The destiny of two clinics
In addition to the to-be-displaced owners cautious about reentering a tricky housing market, some industrial companies additionally must relocate. As well as, Life Church Utah, kitty-corner to Bible Baptist, and two well being clinics can be partially affected by the roadwork.
College of Utah Well being’s Westridge Well being Heart stands to lose six stalls from its south-side parking zone, but it surely nonetheless has area on the north to accommodate sufferers.
“We’re optimistic,” mentioned Eugenia Smith, the clinic’s outpatient companies supervisor. “It’s going to be slightly demanding within the building, however finally it will be lots higher for our sufferers. We’re going to have higher entry.”
Intermountain Healthcare’s Taylorsville InstaCare additionally will lose a few of its property.
The highway at 4700 South is because of stay closed for about 9 to 12 months in 2024. However UDOT and the clinics are working collectively to make sure sufferers can entry the amenities throughout the building.
Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America corps member and writes concerning the standing of communities on the west facet of the Salt Lake Valley for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps maintain her writing tales like this one; please think about making a tax-deductible reward of any quantity at this time by clicking right here.