After rejecting a large area of land near the highway, the new hospital is being built in the busiest intersection in the city, surrounded by the Thrifty’s plaza, Home Depot, Costco, North Island College and the Aquatic Centre, in what signs state as a “high crash” intersection.
To add to this massive traffic situation, the hospital will introduce paid parking. This by itself would not be a big deal if it weren’t for the fact that so many locations and neighbourhoods in the area will now be utilized as parking for those not willing or able to pay.
As a result of this, North Island College students will now be required to pay for parking, on top of tuition and other life expenses. You know who this also hurts? A church.
Central Free Evangelical Church has a small office on Fitzgerald, and they do not have a church building to worship in. For years, they have rented the Stan Hagen Theatre to commune with God and to worship with their brothers and sisters in Christ. This congregation will now be forced to pay to park to worship on Sunday mornings.
What is a likely outcome is a drastic reduction in attendance, either because people are unwilling or unable to pay, especially when they can go to a number of any other churches that do not add a financial burden.
Speaking of financial burdens, the income of the E. Free Church will also tumble. It would be unfair if this entire situation causes the collapse of this long-standing Christian institution.