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Four days later, Kingdom Hall is ready

The windows are in with blinds ready to roll, the carpet is laid except for a corner conference room, the air-conditioning system is up and running, the bathrooms are complete with automatic towel dispensers, and even landscaping including shrubs...

The windows are in with blinds ready to roll, the carpet is laid except for a corner conference room, the air-conditioning system is up and running, the bathrooms are complete with automatic towel dispensers, and even landscaping including shrubs and grasses surrounds the new and finished Kingdom Hall built in only four days.

On Sunday, members of the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses that share this building on north River Road in East Grand Forks shared a chicken supper as they finished the few details left.

The 400 or more fellow Jehovah Witnesses from across Minnesota and North Dakota who had spent the long weekend building had all gone home by late Sunday afternoon.

If the city inspectors give the thumbs-up today, "we will be meeting in here Tuesday," Elder Tracy Fetter said.

Pretty remarkable for a building project that began Thursday.

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The 180 chairs Fetter had stored in his garage to be one of the last touches still were there Sunday evening but would be in place in time for the first Bible studies Tuesday. The simple, 4,700-square-foot interior has a main auditorium with a slightly raised stage, a library and conference room.

Rain that fell Friday and Saturday slowed but didn't stop the well-timed construction, Fetter said.

Some teams doing interior wall and trim work usually begin their work Sunday morning in the patented four-day "quick-build" method Jehovah's Witnesses use in erecting their Kingdom Halls, as their churches are called. But for this project, they began late Saturday night to allow more time for drying in the sodden conditions, Fetter said.

The new building is all up to snuff with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements that the previous structure put up in 1983 didn't have, Fetter said.

When the former Kingdom Hall was built, there was nothing around it but farm fields. Now, Valley Golf Course abuts part of the property and residential housing is around.

But the layout of the golf course poses little threat to the new building's windows and shingles, Fetter said.

"You would have to have a very nasty slice to get a ball in here," he said.

Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237; (800) 477-6572, ext. 237; or send e-mail to slee@gfherald.com .

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