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Construction progresses on the new Patterson Bethel visitor center

FEBRUARY 10, 2022

Renovation and New Construction Move Ahead at Patterson Bethel, New York

Renovation and New Construction Move Ahead at Patterson Bethel, New York

Work on a new two-story 2,787-square-meter (30,000 sq ft) visitor facility at the Watchtower Educational Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Patterson, New York, U.S.A., is expected to be completed by the summer of 2023. The building, which will feature a museum with three permanent galleries and one rotational gallery, will have the capacity to host 1,200 daily visitors. Additionally, many of the property’s buildings are being refurbished and aged building systems and finishes are being replaced. The renovation and new construction work are approximately 40 percent complete.

The brothers coordinating the project have faced challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global supply chain issues threatened to halt construction progress. For example, during a key construction phase there was a shortage of cement to make concrete, but the brothers were able to obtain what was needed to complete a large section of concrete flooring on schedule. Also, although steel prices skyrocketed, our brothers were able to purchase the needed steel at affordable prices based on early procurement and preexisting contracts.

During the Bethel lockdown, volunteers were able to work remotely from their apartments without delaying the planning and design work. For a time, the local town planning board meetings were impacted by protocols and limitations caused by the pandemic that threatened to slow progress. However, by working closely with Bethel departments and local government personnel, the construction committee was able to obtain the necessary permits on schedule using remote volunteers and videoconferencing.

Shifting quarantine guidelines temporarily restricted inviting new volunteers to the site, creating additional challenges. But in the early fall of 2020, it became possible to resume inviting new full-time volunteers to live and work on-site.

Sister Jennifer Paul was invited to serve on the project during the pandemic. Regarding the construction work, she stated: “I love hard work. But it isn’t just the work, it’s the people. You’re feeling the pulse of the organization and Jehovah’s direction.”

Currently, a total of 440 volunteers, including approximately 350 on-site personnel, are working on the Patterson visitor center and renovation projects. Our brothers and sisters continue to see Jehovah provide all that is needed for the continued success of this project.—1 Chronicles 29:16.


Two brothers dig a drainage ditch for the visitor center

A sister wires a heating and cooling unit as part of the maintenance building renovation

A brother prepares to lift a steel column with the assistance of a crane

An aerial view of the new visitor center with the educational center in the background

On the second floor of the visitor center, a construction volunteer grinds a steel support structure

A crane is used to lift new HVAC equipment onto the roof of the office building

Happy construction volunteers

Construction volunteers work into the evening on the second floor of the visitor center