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 has continued to experience growth and have found that we have outgrown that Reserve space. The opportunity to expand into a new venue was presented and we are now able to announce that Northstar Reserve is in a new location.
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 I had vision that it could be a really cool place.”
“I thought it was a cool spot, but I also thought it was very disgusting and that it needed a ton of work,” said Matt Simpson, Northstar’s GAP minister, thinking about his first walkthrough of the new space.
Since that initial look that the staff had of the new Northstar Reserve, a lot of work has been put into it. The walls have received fresh coats of paint, as have the benches and some of the floors and ceiling. A tremendous clean-up effort was headed up by Erin, Matt, and Alex Kacere, our youth minister. They have been able to coordinate a large number of volunteers who have been willing to meet them downtown each day for several weeks in order to turn the new venue into a place we can be excited about.
“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 just think it’s awesome having so many people come out to help. People 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 have been working, Northstar Reserve has drawn the attention of people in the community. “We’ve already gotten some really incredible feedback from people who pass by and ask, ‘Oh, what are you doing with the place?’” said Erin. “We let them know and they are just so thankful that, one: something’s going in, and two: it’s not a bar. So it’s exciting that people are 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.”
Recently, on April 23, Northstar Reserve was open to the community for an Open House event. Happening at the same time as Blacksburg’s International Street Fair, it provided us with an opportunity to invite friends and neighbors in out of the rain for a hot cup of coffee and some fresh popcorn. “It provided an opportunity for us to open our doors to Blacksburg for the first time,” said Jessica Yalung, who has recently taken charge of all things related to the Reserve. “We 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. “We’ll have a schedule posted on the door letting people know the times when we’ll have someone from the Northstar staff at the Reserve. This will give 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!