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The Prince George’s County, Md. community can look forward to a new multipurpose Family Life Center that will be one of the largest of its kind in the area when it opens in late 2017.

The First Baptist Church of Glenarden kicked off construction of the $20 million facility on May 13, located on a portion of the church’s 160 acres of land in Upper Marlboro, Md.

“This building we’re building is not just for the First Baptist Church of Glenarden,” said Senior Pastor John Jenkins Sr. “It is for the community. I’m so excited about this facility because it’s going to make a difference in the lives of people.”

The Family Life Center will include more than 63,000 square feet of space and feature three indoor basketball courts with performance platforms, an indoor running track, fitness room and three multi-purpose conference rooms.

County residents will be able to engage in health and wellness opportunities through educational workshops, nutrition and sports programs once the center is open. The center will also house the church’s 10 Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams and support large crowds during tournaments.

“It’s about giving our children a safe place to work and live and learn,” Jenkins said.

“A safe place where they can be mentored and coached and develop relationships with people. It’s a place where people can get wisdom.”

Designed by Grimm and Parker, a sustainable energy architecture firm, half of the center will be powered by solar energy sourced from a solar farm to be built directly behind the center. Construction of the center is expected to take 18 months.

First Baptist Church of Glenarden has more than 11,000 active members, making it one of the largest congregations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It has three Prince George’s County locations; the Family Life Center will be built at the church’s main location on 600 Watkins Park Dr.

“We anticipate ministering to so many youth and athletes, and already people are calling and asking about using the facility,” Jenkins said. “This is just one building of many that we’re hoping God will allow us to build.”