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How Do You Move an Entire Church?
A Menard County grain elevator is in the midst of a large expansion. The problem? The town's church was in the way.
So the two organizations got together and moved the church to a new location.
It might seem like far too cold of a day to move a building, but that's exactly what the crew at Balagna House Moving did in the town of Atterberry.
"So it's froze," employee Howard VanHouten said. "Otherwise, we'd be matting it across this whole field like we had to when we came out of the hole over there."
This isn't just some house. It's the Atterberry Community Baptist Church, which is no light load.
"About 120 ton," VanHouten said.
The longest part of the trip is over, but the work isn't over just yet.
"We'll spin all these dollies," VanHouten said. "Then we'll turn it sideways and roll it right down into the ramp and get it set up for the concrete guys to pour the concrete. Then we'll come back after that's done and set it back down."
The church is moving because of the Lincoln Land FS elevator.
"We're going through an elevator expansion," Manager Nathan Montgomery said. "Adding a 25-car loader, we're putting in 1.25 million bushel storage, a new pit. And with that expansion, we're gonna block in the church, so we worked with the church, and we're moving the church to a new location."
The church membership is excited about the new location.
"Much better," church board member Bob Moore said. "Much better. Higher ground, no water problems hopefully. We've had some water problems underneath and in the crawl space down at the old place. Everyone's really excited about getting it up here."
And it definitely beats the temporary location inside the church parsonage.
"Forty chairs in there," Moore said. "It gets kind of tight, but we have a good time."
But the best part may be watching the building move.
"I saw it," Moore said. "I don't know what to think, that's for sure. But it's pretty awesome. I've never seen anything like this before. It's interesting."
The crew from Balagna was hoping to get the church into its future spot before the snow hit, but Mother Nature came in a little too quickly, so they're waiting until after the snow.
Church officials estimate it will be another three to four weeks before they're back in the church.