Extra space. As Northstar Church and its various ministries have grown, it has become more and more apparent that we are in need of some extra space.
Several months ago, toward the end of last summer, we began renting a small office space located in the same office park as our current Ministry Center. This small space became a convenient place for our youth group to meet and for our worship team to hold practice sessions. This small space became known as Northstar Reserve.
But even in that short span of time, Northstar continued to experience growth and found that we had outgrown that Reserve space. The opportunity to expand into a new venue was presented, and we were able to secure a new location in a perfect area.
Located in downtown Blacksburg at 204 Draper Road, the new Northstar Reserve was something of a fixer-upper. Erin Petersen, our college minister said, “It was kind of a disaster: spray paint all over the walls, trash everywhere, ceiling tiles missing… but we had vision that it could be a really cool place.”
“I thought it was a cool spot, but I also thought it was disgusting and that it needed a ton of work,” said Matt Simpson, Northstar’s GAP minister, thinking about his first walk-through of the new space.
Since that initial look that the staff had of the Reserve, a lot of work by volunteers was done. The walls received fresh coats of paint, as did the benches and some of the floors and ceiling. A tremendous clean-up effort was headed up by our staff. The work and coordinated effort took several weeks, but the space began to take shape, and the transformation was amazing.
“I wasn’t sure that we would be able to get enough people on the same page to make it work,” said Matt, thinking about the amount of work that would need to go into the space. “But I think it’s awesome having so many people who came out to help. People were willing to give up not just their time but donate supplies as well.”
God has provided so much that has allowed for Northstar to make this new Reserve space a reality, including the help of Slate Creek Builders, a local company that has been willing to donate some extra materials that have been used in making Northstar Reserve an attractive venue.
Even as people were working, the Reserve drew the attention of people in the community. “We’ve received some really incredible feedback from people who passed by and asked, ‘Oh, what are you doing with the place?’” said Erin. “We let them know, and they are just so thankful that, one: something was going in, and two: it wasn’t a bar. So it was exciting that people were excited about us coming in.”
In thinking about the opportunities the new space will provide for Northstar’s youth, Alex shared, “Having a downtown presence is really exciting because it allows for a more central location as traffic flows through Blacksburg. It offers us a new, fun, consistent building to send people to.”
“I’m excited to have the extra space so that we can use it for events and for hanging out,” added Erin, “And it’s close to campus, within walking distance, so freshmen and sophomores who don’t have vehicles can come and enjoy the space.”
During downtown events, the space helps us provide an opportunity to invite friends and neighbors into enjoy a hot cup of coffee or fresh popcorn. It’s a great place to bring your lunch and enjoy some downtime with friends or co-workers.
“It has provided an opportunity for us to open our doors to Blacksburg for the first time,” said Jessica Yalung, Reserve Coordinator. “We’ve had a good number of people come in to check us out!”
Now that Northstar Reserve is up and running, our hope is that it will be a place where people are comfortable just dropping by and hanging out whenever the doors are open. “It gives anyone a chance to come in and play darts or ping-pong, have a cup of coffee, or find a relaxing place to study,” added Jessica. During these times, the Reserve will have music playing and Wi-Fi available.
Apart from these open house style hours, the Reserve will be available to rent for private events as well as use by other ministries in the New River Valley. Are you interested in using the Reserve for your event? Fill out this form or get in touch with Jessica for more details!