Trinity Downtown has been on its current campus since 1926 and through the decades has expanded to one of the largest church campuses in downtown Orlando. We are thankful to the Lord for all the good gifts He has given us! Now it’s time to use His gift of property more efficiently.
We have begun our latest project of matching the campus to our mission of bringing children and families one step closer to Jesus.
In February 2014, Trinity launched a $7.1 million school ministry expansion. The project is the first phase in the 97-year-old congregation’s Century II Campus Renewal Project to redesign its 5.2-acre property at 123 E. Livingston Street, one-block east of the Orange County Courthouse.
“In 1919, Trinity’s founding congregational membership set out to establish a Christ-centered ministry to share the message of God’s love to people in the early, 20th-Century downtown community,” said Tommie Smothers, president of the congregation. “Now nearly 100 years later, Trinity Downtown’s congregation seeks to prepare ourselves for Trinity’s Century II Mission Outreach to the downtown community by committing God’s people through Word, Worship and Community to be actively engaged to meet the many diverse needs in sharing Christ’s love through educational opportunities in the downtown Orlando community we are part of.”
Trinity Lutheran School’s K-8 program is celebrating its 61st anniversary this year and the Child Development Center is in its 32nd year. The Child Development Center houses the Early Learning program (infants through VPK) of Trinity Lutheran School which serves students through 8th grade. The CDC’s goal is to nurture Christian character and promote academic excellence.
Nestled in the Lake Eola Heights Historic District, Trinity Downtown is looking to the future in planning a state-of-the-art classroom building for its Child Development Center. This 28,000 square-foot building will enlarge Trinity’s Child Development Center and Campus Ministries in Phase I of the campus Master Plan. This building will open in mid-June and accommodate more 300 children from infants up to 4-year-olds. We are very excited!
Parishioner Matt Wheeler of Affiniti Architects (Orlando and Boca Raton) and the congregation have worked passionately to develop a design that utilizes the scale and architectural detailing of the Lake Eola Heights Historic District in order to allow the building to work harmoniously within the surrounding residential neighborhood. The streetscape of Ruth Lane was sensitively designed to emulate the craftsman cottage feel of the historic neighborhood and will feature what will appear to be 7 historic homes (three of which are existing 1920s homes), and the congregation’s historic sanctuary, built in 1926. “We are excited for the upcoming campus transformation and invite all to come see our progress,” Wheeler said.
To make room for the new building and comply with requirements of the City of Orlando Historic Board, three historic houses on the church campus, which had been used for part of the CDC program, will be preserved and renovated for residential use. Relocating the houses north along Ruth Lane toward the Amelia Avenue corner of the church property was the first step in the Phase I project. Modern Movers of Orlando performed this work. Other campus improvements in the first phase include an interior courtyard redesign, new traffic flow patterns, children’s playground and additional parking. To watch the construction progress go to: http://www.livestream.com/trinityconstruction.
Another prominent campus feature is our soccer field. During construction it will be shifted and reestablished about 100 feet to the west once a non-historic building is torn down.
Doster Construction, headquartered in Birmingham, AL, and with offices in Orlando, is the construction management firm; Burkett Engineering in Orlando did the civil engineering. Lutheran Church Extension Fund, based in St. Louis, MO, is providing the financing for the project.
Laborers For Christ, an affiliate of LCEF, will be remodeling the residential houses and constructing a concession stand on the soccer field, which fronts Amelia Avenue.
The kindergarten through 8th-grade school, designed for 240 students, is housed in buildings along Livingston Street and includes a kitchen, lunchroom and full-size gym. This summer (2015) the gym will have a complete renovation with the installation of a new roof and wood flooring as well as interior and exterior painting.
Five modular classrooms now in use by the school will be eliminated as part of the final construction site work.
The Trinity Downtown campus also includes a two-story office/ministry center at 427 North Magnolia Ave.
Phase I construction is expected to be complete in August 2015. In the near future, the Trinity Leadership Council anticipates several improvements to the sanctuary, including a new sound system and carpeting.
There are five phases in the congregation’s long-range development of the campus master plan that was approved by the City of Orlando on Feb. 4, 2013 in Ordinance No. 2012-52. The entire church property has been rezoned to Planned Development District with the Traditional City and Historic Preservation Overlay districts (Trinity Lutheran Church PD). Phase II is the expansion of the K-8 school facilities. In the development process, changes have been and will be made to the original design concepts but it shows the philosophy behind the master plan and proposed campus redesign.
We appreciate your prayers through the process, and we thank God for this opportunity to look ahead to the next century of ministry in Orlando, bringing people one step closer to Jesus. Trinity's mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through ministries which strengthen and equip people for Christian witness and service in downtown, metropolitan Orlando, and the world.