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OAK CREEK - The Ridge Community Church is a step closer to expanding into Oak Creek using the current Value Cinema building.

The Value Cinema site, 6912 S. 27th St. would be the church's second location. Currently, the church operates out of a portion of a former Walmart building at 4500 S. 108th St. in Greenfield.

At an April 11 meeting, the Oak Creek Plan Commission approved a rezoning request for the theater property and the parcel behind it to institutional zoning. A conditional use permit for a religious institution was also included with the conditions and restrictions at the April 25 plan commission meeting.

Alderman Chris Guzikowski called the church a "great fit" for the location.

City Planner Kari Papelbon said the church will be remodeling the interior theater sections of the existing building.

The interior will take cues from the church's Greenfield location such as a cafe area, kids area, and other elements. The hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, with "some activities" planned for Saturdays, according to the plan commission report.

Additionally, the report states exterior renovations will be presented at a later date.

The church chose Oak Creek due to around 300 of their current congregation members coming from the area.

"We are a community church and we want to put a location in Oak Creek that would better serve its growing community," the proposal from The Ridge reads.

A news release from Marcus Theatres in November 2016 announced the sale of the Value Cinema property and stated the theater would operate at full capacity until it was finalized. The Ridge presented their offer to purchase the location in fall 2016.

The Ridge Community Church started in 2006 as a non-denominational church. The congregation held its first service at The Ridge Cinema in New Berlin and three years later moved to Whitnall High School in Greenfield, where the held services for an additional three years. In 2013 the church held its first service at its current Greenfield location.

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