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Cloudy,63°
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Religion
Jehovah Witnesses Hall opens its doors
By Julie Mansmann, jmansmann@liherald.com
Donovan Berthoud/Herald
David Hargraves, elder of the East Meadow division, left, and Tony Di Russo, elder of the Bellmore division, welcomed members of the Bellmore community to their congregations’ new building.

The recently completed Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bellmore was on display for the community at an open house last Saturday.

Tony Di Russo, the congregation’s coordinating elder, said the religious community wanted to invite neighbors and others to see the new building at 1404 Pea Pond Road after construction was completed. He said the project to replace the old hall, built in 1959, with a new structure better suited to the congregation’s needs began in November 2011.

Church members, who hail from Bellmore, Merrick, Wantagh, Seaford and other areas between Uniondale and Massapequa, were on hand at the open house.

Di Russo said that neighbors of the North Bellmore hall have reacted positively to the new church, which was completed last month.

“The neighbors appreciate that it’s a residential-looking building,” he said. “We want to show our appreciation to the community for being patient when the construction was going on. ”

On Sept. 22, community members and congregants were invited to the hall to partake in light refreshments and to look around the structure that Di Russo said was built by about 200 volunteers from the Regional Building Committee of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The hall will serve two congregations based out of Bellmore and East Meadow, which have about 100 members each, said Di Russo, who added that the growing size of the community was kept in mind by the new hall’s designers.

The Bellmore Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses is larger than its predecessor, with new conference rooms, an office and an auditorium that seats more than 120 people. Di Russo said elements of the building are also environmentally friendly. The hall has photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and other “green” systems, he said.

Di Russo said he was happy to open the doors of the new building to the community. “It’s absolutely fabulous,” he said. “I’ve been a member of the congregation for 44 years, so it feels like a homecoming.”

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