After many years of being home to various night clubs, 802 W. Walnut St. will be hosting new occupants.
The Well, a campus ministry group, has purchased the property to build their new facility where students will be welcome to casually convene as well as attend the group’s weekly worship events.
Samantha McNeill, the director of woman’s ministry at The Well, explained that the group will continue to use their current building located at 910 W. Maple St. for administration purposes and to stay connected with campus.
“We just purchased the property in December,” McNeill said. “We’re still going to keep this property here to continue to have a campus presence.”
The Well currently hosts their gatherings at the Millennium Center. Because of ETSU’s recent purchase of this facility, the group felt they needed to establish a new place where they could ensure a consistent meeting space.
“When we learned ETSU would be purchasing the Millennium Center, we anticipated that it might become more difficult to meet there every Wednesday,” McNeill said. “We need a place where we know we can meet every single week.”
The new building will include a large space for the group to host worship events as well as provide a space for students to hang out and get coffee. McNeill says current members are looking forward to the change.
“They’re really excited to have a place right off of campus where they can have a permanent place to go,” she said. “We’ll be building a coffee shop. We’ll also have an auditorium that seats 600 students for our worship gatherings every week.”
McNeill explained that this $900,000 purchase was made possible by donations from members of The Well’s community.
“We raised the funds for the property from a smaller group of people,” McNeill said. “We had about 50 families that donated the funds to our ministry to be able to purchase the property.”
With West Walnut Street’s upcoming changes and renovations, McNeill says the group feels the property will be a perfect location for their new building.
“We think Walnut Street is an ideal spot because you can walk there from campus,” McNeill said. “Obviously even the city has a vision to do a lot with that street in the coming years, and so we see it as a prime location.”
McNeill says she is looking forward to having this new location after many years of The Well migrating to many different meeting places.
“This is our 21st year of ministry, so we’ve been in a lot of different locations over the years,” McNeill said. “It’s really neat to know now that this property does belong to The Well and that we have the opportunity to re-build it and use it.”
The group hopes to see the finished building make its debut in August of 2020.