Recreation Outreach Center banner at Zion Lutheran Church. Photo by Sam Gillespie.

Zion Lutheran Church and School is constructing a Recreation Outreach Center (the ROC) on their campus at the northeast corner of Skillman Street and Lovers Lane.

The ROC will be a full-size gymnasium with accessory facilities featuring locker and laundry rooms, coaches’ offices and meeting rooms. The project budget is $5.6 million, funded by contributions and pledges from existing parishioners and families of students attending the school.

“Our Recreation Outreach Center will be a place to play and place to pray,” says Senior Pastor Robert Preece, who has been at Zion since 1990. “Eighty percent of our 270 students come from outside the parish but inside the local community. We want the ROC to serve the community not only for youth sports but for weddings, neighborhood groups and conferences.”

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Zion was founded in 1879 when the Lutherans established a church and school on Live Oak Street near Harwood in Downtown Dallas. A new facility was built in 1899 on Swiss Avenue, followed by a new building in 1948 on Skillman between Marquita and Monticello. The current church and school was relocated for the fourth time to the  location at Skillman and Lovers in 1957.

No existing buildings were demolished for the construction; the building site was grass before construction started.

Although the official groundbreaking was in January, actual construction didn’t start until early May. Construction will take nine months to a year.

The architect is Cunningham Architects, and the contractor is Birch Construction.