South Mountain Christian Camp building

The new multi-purpose building that will be constructed at South Mountain Christian Camp is shown. This will be the nonprofit organization’s largest construction project in the past 25 years.

BOSTIC — A project that was in the original plans for South Mountain Christian Camp more than 40 years ago, moves closer to fruition on Saturday, as ground will be broken for a new multi-purpose building officials say will dramatically expand the camp’s ability to fulfill its mission.

The official ground-breaking ceremony on the million-dollar project begins at 3 p.m. Camp supporters are invited to attend the open-air event.

“We invite people to come and celebrate what God is doing at South Mountain Christian Camp,” said Steve Collins, camp executive director.

The camp is located at 1129 South Mountain Road, Bostic. According to Collins, the project was part of the camp’s original master plan.

“Over the years, the camp has developed one step at a time,” he said.

In 2007, and in 2008, the camp constructed two new lodges, bringing the total number of guest beds to 180.

“But we don’t really have kitchen facilities that can adequately serve that number,” Collins said. “We realized we needed a better, larger kitchen. Also, our chapel is only large enough to accommodate about 100 people at one time.”

Collins and the South Mountain Christian Camp board decided one large multipurpose facility is what is needed. The new building will include a larger modern kitchen, restroom facilities, large dining area, conference room, as well as room enough to hold large assemblies complete with a stage. There will also be a patio area for outdoor cooking and eating.

“This is a big project,” Collins said. “We think it will cost approximately $1 million. That includes using some volunteer labor and other discounts.”

So far, the camp has raised approximately $600,000. Donations are still being sought. For $3,300, a donor may sponsor a chair in the new building. And, donors can make the contribution all at once, or spread it out over an extended period.

“We have the money to get the building up and ‘closed in,’ ” Collins said. “We hope to have that done in about six months. Donations are continuing to come in as well.”

The goal, according to Collins, is for the new building to be in use by summer, 2022.

At that point, the camp will be able to increase the number of summer camp kids to 744. That’s 144 more than the current summer capacity of 600. And, it will mean larger groups.

“The need is real,” Collins continued. “Once it is built, we will serve more kids in summer camp, and be able to accommodate larger groups for retreats at other times during the year. That is one of the biggest sources of revenue that keeps South Mountain Christian Camp in operation.”

Collins said the new building is vital to the camp’s continued development. And, he is confident the necessary funding will come through.

“Our building will go up according to God’s timing,” he added.

For more information about South Mountain Christian Camp or to make a donation, email smcc@southmountain or call 828-245-3322.