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Church breaks ground

Newhall satellite building to hold space for three local nonprofit organizations

Posted: September 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Linda Davies, executive director of the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, speaks.

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Roughly 2 1/2 years after opening its Valencia campus, Real Life Church broke ground Sunday in Newhall for Savia, which church leaders are calling a community partnership.

Housed in a space originally meant for Tresierras Supermarket at the corner of Newhall Avenue and Carl Court, the roughly 23,000-square-foot space will be home to a 285-seat auditorium, conference rooms, offices and a coffeehouse-type lounge with free Wi-Fi. The church hopes to open the facility next spring.

In addition to hosting Sunday services for Vida Real, Real Life’s Spanish-speaking ministry, Savia — a word Real Life Senior Pastor Rusty George said refers to “the life force of a tree” — will provide office space for the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, Single Mothers Outreach and A Light of Hope.

“This is a dream come true. ... My cup of gratitude is overflowing,” said DaAnne Smith, executive director of Single Mothers Outreach. “We are so passionate about helping families make lemonade from the lemons life dishes out.”

The project is being funded by church members’ tithes to Real Life’s building campaign, communications manager Maddy Dowler said. In the past, the church — which has about 4,400 members — has used tithe money to build an orphanage in Africa.

Dowler said the church wants to make the auditorium space available for both church and community functions.

Architect Joseph Um said his vision for the two-story space “is to be as trendy as possible, and open to all walks of life. (We want it to be) a place where people can relax and be at peace.”

Concerning the lounge at Savia, Um said that, similar to the Undergrounds coffeehouse at Real Life’s Valencia campus, the goal is to have “a friendly, welcoming environment for people to hang out and meet.”

Echoing that, George said the church wants to make Savia a good neighbor to the community.

“Our goal is to a create a place that can be used by everybody,” he said.

After remarks by George, Vida Real Pastor Walter Herrera and nonprofit representatives, George led the crowd of church members in prayer, flanked by two golden shovels planted in the unfinished, dirt floor of the space.

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