OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The Salvation Army of Oshkosh broke ground today on a $5 million addition and renovation project going down in history as the first time in 38 years that the Salvation Army has acquired the financial resources to make a major capital reinvestment in their facilities.

“Today is the culmination of several years of dedicated planning and effort,” said Oshkosh Corps Officer Lieutenant Ross Anderson. “We are thankful and blessed to have so many wonderful donors who understand that meeting the needs of our community in the decades to come requires a major reinvestment in the Salvation Army of Oshkosh today.”

The ceremony was held at 1 p.m. on Thursday in conjunction with Bray Architects and Miron Construction. Many residents and businesses were also in attendance excited for what this new expansion will do for the center and the greater community.

According to officials, this addition will double the Salvation Army’s existing space. On the first floor, the expansion will bring an updated cafeteria and serving area, a new auditorium/chapel, an updated nursery/childcare space, multiple updated classrooms/meeting rooms, updated administration and social worker offices, updated men’s and women’s restrooms, and a new multipurpose room to accommodate the Salvation Army’s annual events such as the coat and toy drives.

“Every day, the Salvation Army is making a difference for the people they serve,” said Bill Wyman, President of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation (OACF). “The OACF is proud to be part of this great day in Salvation Army history.”

The Salvation Army notes that during construction most programs will be shifted to a rented space at the former Bella Academy for Cosmetology located at 338 Pearl Avenue in Oshkosh.