For the past three years, JSAW hasn’t had much of a space to call home. The action sports outreach ministry has a community house in south Hopkins where staff lived and worked. JSAW—which stands for Jesus Snow Asphalt Water— serves about 30 youth a week, and many more in the summer. Yet it had to largely rely on local parks when for its action sports activities.
Thanks to the organization’s growth, though, JSAW is getting its own space. Last week, it signed a lease for a space at 7385 Bush Lake Road in Edina where it will put a small indoor skate park, rooms for its programs and offices for its staff.
“This’ll be a place for kids to come—a place where they can belong, a place where they can hang out, learn about Christ and discipleship,” said Jonny Nelson, the group's co-creator and chief financial officer.
This isn’t the first time JSAW has had its own space. In 2004, it had a 20,000-square-foot facility in Chanhassan with a 9,000-square-foot skate park. But it quickly became clear that the space was too big for the organization to sustain.
“We learned quite a bit when that place failed,” Nelson said.
Now JSAW has support from Wooddale Church and Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Valley Free Church in Chaska and Creek Valley Church in Edina. It’s also scaled back its vision for its facility.
That smaller vision complements the group’s outreach mission, Nelson said. Instead of simply asking youth to come to them, they’ll continue to go out to the parks that they’re already using. Part of the reason it chose the Bush Lake Road location is because it’s close to the Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area that the JSAW already uses for its snowboarding programs.
“It’s not all about us and this location. There’s so much more to JSAW than just here,” he said. “Ministry is more of a lifestyle for us.”
The group aims to have a soft opening March 1, followed by a grand opening soon afterward.
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