Church redevelops ex-paper mill


The Childsdale Paper Mill in Rockford was abandoned in 2011. Courtesy Wolverine Building Group

A church in the area has embarked on a major building project.

Bridgeway Community Church is redeveloping the former Childsdale Paper Mill in Rockford, at 7700 Childsdale Ave. NE, into its new facility. 

Grand Rapids-based Wolverine Building Group broke ground on the project last month. Phase one of the project is slated to wrap up next May.

The cost of the project was not disclosed.

Bridgeway Community Church currently operates out of a facility in Rockford, at 6175 Northland Dr. NE.

The former Childsdale Paper Mill started as a saw mill in 1848, before turning into a paper mill in 1866, a use it held until 2001, when it was abandoned.

The first phase of the redevelopment project involves a renovation of nearly 18,000 square feet of the old paper mill and the addition of more than 2,100 square feet, said Dulane Coval, project manager, Wolverine Building Group.

The first phase will largely create worship and classroom space, along with an entry way. Wolverine is also working on a parking lot and utilities.

Phase two will renovate an additional 20,000 square feet of the old paper mill, when funds become available, Coval said. The phase-two renovation will include more meeting space and a kitchen.

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