By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapers.net

Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church is undergoing several renovations at its location on Peachtree Road in Buckhead.

After refurbishing the sanctuary seven years ago, the church is moving forward with the rest of the project, which will repair and modify the more than 50,000-square foot chapel building.

“What’s going on right now is that we have foundation leaks,” said Senior Pastor Dr. David Sapp, who has been with the church for nine years. “This part of the building was built in 1953.”

“Right now they have the front yard dug up to repair the leaks. We are going to re-landscape the front yard.”

In this pursuit, crews with Gay Construction have installed a new drain system under the front lawn in order to bring Second-Ponce de Leon up to code on storm drain requirements. A new retaining wall is also being installed to act as a protective barrier from Peachtree Road traffic. When finished, this concrete wall will be camouflaged with shrubs, and two flagstone walkways will lead visitors from the Peachtree Road sidewalk up to the new sanctuary front porch. Work is also being done to lay a set of pipes that will provide access to water for irrigation and fire line systems.

Once the church obtains permit approval from the city of Atlanta, construction will begin inside the chapel building as well. Much of the renovations will modernize this portion of the church, updating the plumbing, wiring and mechanical systems.

“A lot of the renovation will also try to bring educational space into a state that is usable for the way that we do Christian education now,” said Dr. Sapp. “This building was designed around how they did Christian education in the 50s.”

He added work will also be done to improve the main entrance of the chapel building.

“We need a larger entry foyer and covered drive,” said Dr. Sapp.

“One of the most exciting things to our members is that there is going to be an elevator that will go to every level. We have half levels in the building, because the two [four-story] buildings don’t line up, so there are a lot of stairs. For the first time in the history of the church, it will be possible to get to every level on one elevator. So we will be a lot more accessible for the disabled and the aging then we have been in the past.”

In addition, the main offices of the building are being completely redone. The former “cubicle land” will be transformed into separate offices for most of the around 25 full-time employees.

The project, which began about a month ago, is slated for completion in one year.

“This [renovation] is badly needed,” said Dr. Sapp. “We are delighted to be able to get it done.”