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Trinity Lutheran Church plans outdoor pavilion

Trinity Lutheran Church, owatonna, pavillion
Joni Hubred, News Editor

Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna last week received approvals from the city to build an multi-purpose, outdoor space along Lincoln Avenue.

Community Development Director Troy Klecker said the church was required to apply for a variance because the structure would be in a side yard instead of a backyard. In the southwest corner of the property, the area is bordered by Lincoln Avenue to the west, a walkway to the north, the church to the east, and a church parking lot on the south.

Klecker said the plan includes a 780-square-foot pavilion, which is open air on three sides, with a storage room at the closed end. While the pavilion will be wired for electricity and sound, the church will use a portable sound system.

The project also features a garden, prayer labyrinth, large open lawn, and water feature.

Church officials expect to move the Sunday 10:45 a.m. worship service into the pavilion during warmer weather. The structure may also be used by the Vacation Bible School program, Trinity Preschool, family events, and small music or drama performances, as well as by other community groups.

There was no public comment at either the council meeting or a Feb. 13 planning commission public hearing. With very little discussion, the commission recommended approval of the variance.

Council member Doug Voss said his three children all went through Trinity Preschool and asked whether there had been any discussion about installing a fence on Lincoln Avenue, given the expectation that preschoolers would be using the pavilion. Klecker said there hadn’t been.

“Might be worth bringing up at least,” Voss said.

Council members unanimously approved the variance, with Brent Svenby abstaining because he is a member of the church.

In an annual report to the congregation at Trinity, Rev. Todd Buegler said the project will break ground in May and take around eight weeks to build.

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