Development is cleared to begin on a new two-story building on SW 117th Avenue in Kendall to serve the rapidly increasing membership of congregations within the Seventh Day Adventist Inter- American Division (IAD).
A unanimous affirming vote by Community Council 12 during a county zoning hearing on Jan. 7 provided initial approval to add a 3,120-square-foot building adjacent to the existing headquarters at 8100 SW 117 Ave. No objections were recorded.
Initial plans show development in a low-profile, landscaped campus- like setting for what will become twin buildings in an officestyle complex. Construction is due to be completed by November.
“When we first moved to Kendall, the division was overseeing 12 church regions across the division territory,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the Adventist Church in Inter-America. “Today, these have increased to 22 [regions] across the territory, including 120 sub regions and nearly 4 million members in nearly 20,000 congregations. We need more office space and more storage capacity.”
The new building will connect to the southwest corner of the existing one-story structure to become part of a single unit, explained Luis Castafieda, owner/president of 3L Builders Corp. general contractor for the development.
The added space on the first floor of the new building will function as a storage area of 1,560 square feet with six executive offices, five working stations and a meeting room on the second floor.
The headquarters office operates the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and oversees educational work in 550 elementary schools, 346 secondary schools and 13 universities throughout its territory.
In addition, the division operates a medical school, theological seminary and an online university while also serving as a purchasing and shipping agency for its sub-organizations.
The new addition will contribute to the fulfillment of civic duties, and will continue to function as a safe and comfortable elections precinct, according to Libna E. Stevens, the division’s assistant communication director.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church is a worldwide Christian denomination with a membership of 18 million in 209 countries. The church is divided into 13 divisions, including the IAD offices in Kendall.