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Real Life Ministries growing northward

Staff Writer | August 7, 2020 1:07 AM

Church would be built in two phases

A new place of assembly and worship is in the works for Real Life Ministries as the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional use permit Thursday.

Real Life Ministries, with its main campus in Post Falls and a site in Coeur d’Alene, wants to use the new facility as a hub for its congregation farther north in the county so it no longer would have to hold services at Timberlake High School in Spirit Lake.

One of the largest churches in Kootenai County, Real Life Ministries’ permit application targets the western 9.8 acres of a 19.6 acre parcel. The building site is off Highway 54 between Athol and Spirit Lake, about 3.5 miles west of Athol. Main access to the facility would be through a new access route connected to Highway 54.

Hearing examiner Vlad Finkel recommended the project’s approval after receiving overwhelming public support. According to Finkel, the application received 68 comments in favor and six opposing.

In the proposed permit application, Real Life Ministries divided the project in two phases. The first consists of a 19,600-square-foot auditorium that provides a “space of worship, education and fellowship,” while leaving room for possible expansion in the future.

Another 19,600 square feet for a sports facility could be added in phase two.

Additions including a 2,800-square-foot storage structure, outdoor pavilion, outdoor stage, thrift store, and food bank are included in the permit as a possibility for the future.

According to the application, Real Life Ministries intends to install a new wall and water system improvements to support the facility’s domestic and irrigation needs. The facility’s water network will serve as a fire suppression system, and any effluent discharge will be treated via the on-site septic and drain field setup.