A version of this story was printed in the August 2016 issue of Park Cities People, in which we reported UP City Council had approved HPUMC’s development plans. At press deadline, this information was confirmed by a UP official. That confirmation was later retracted. The story below has been revised and rewritten by the editorial staff to reflect the accurate information.
University Park City Council is set to vote on Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC)’s plans to raze and rebuild its 23-year-old Biggers Activities Building on Hillcrest Avenue sometime in August.
The vote was originally set for July 19, but was postponed at the request of HPUMC. According to an email from the director of communications Mary Wilson, the church’s zoning consultant noticed an error in the proposed ordinance during the previous council meeting July 5.
If their plans are approved, HPUMC will replace the current structure with a new, much larger family activities center.
“The existing building doesn’t fit into our church and it doesn’t contribute to the neighborhood. It was just a gym and a youth center and unfortunately, it’s not been utilized ever to its capacity,” Dallas Cothrum, of Masterplan Consulting and HPUMC, said at the June 7 city council meeting.
Cothrum said one of his friends had told him the current building looked like “something the Soviets built and left here.”