SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The first steps in the process to build a new Baptist Student Union are underway after the former building was demolished on November 17.

The building had been boarded up for years, forcing students to find somewhere else to meet up. The demolition paves the way for a new future home.

“We had a building that was built in 1956 before that’s being demoed now and it was flooding and a lot of flooding issues. And so there was just going to be a moment where we needed to figure out what we were going to do,” Chris Wilson said.

Their new home will be more focused on community involvement.

“Just trying to figure out just some ways to get our ministry to be to a place where it’s sustainable, where there’s a residual income that comes into that provides for staffing, and then also to help provide for student housing,” Wilson said.

“Sometimes ministries and groups we tend to think about just us. You know, this is a building that’s for the community and for everybody,” David Stone said.

The five-story building carries a multi-million dollar price tag but will provide housing for students, possible retail options along with the new home of the union.

“A lot of that is being raised through just local support and we’re trying to raise about $8 million in the first part of this. And then the rest of that ten is going to come from the Missouri Baps Convention, which they’re the ones that own the property and they’re out of Jeff City,” Wilson said.

KOLR10 spoke to one freshman who says he’s looking forward to the future.

“I was actually looking at the thing they had on the website the other day about the new facility, and it looks like it’s going to be pretty nice. I would definitely consider moving in. It looks like it’s going to be a really nice spot,” Ainsley Oliver said.

Wilson says the hope is the building will be completed by 2025.