Former home of NPR Baptist Church is coming down
NEW PORT RICHEY - The job of knocking down the former home of First Baptist Church of New Port Richey will resume Monday - come rain or shine. The city of New Port Richey, which bought the former church property in 2005 for $3.2 million, is having the land cleared to make it easier to sell or lease. It hired Boca Raton-based wrecking and demolition company B.G. Group to do the work. The demolition work began about a week ago with a couple of houses on the church site. The work is now moving on to the former sanctuary building and its tower steeple, a landmark in the area around Orange Lake. Andrew Stull, the B.G. Group superintendent at the demolition site, declined to say Friday afternoon when the project would be completed.Stull, however, isn't worrying about the weather, which has been rainy in recent days, delaying completion. He said the demolition would resume Monday, "with or without the weather." In fact, knocking down buildings when it is raining is "better" because the rain holds down the dust the work usually creates, he said. Before knocking down the former sanctuary, B.G. Group workers have removed the building's stained glass windows and turned them over to First Baptist Church, which is now on Trouble Creek Road. New Port Richey bought the former church property during the height of the Florida real estate boom of the early part of this decade for possible use in the city's downtown redevelopment project. The subsequent collapse of the state's housing and real estate markets has stalled downtown redevelopment and made it hard for the city to find anyone to buy or lease the former church buildings and land.