EDMOND — A project to expand an Islamic mosque complex near the University of Central Oklahoma has been completed.
Construction of the Islamic Society of Edmond’s new fellowship hall took about two years, said Riaz Ahmad, one of the Islamic Society’s founders.
The new brick building, along with the addition of parking spaces, was built adjacent to the Islamic Society’s original mosque at 525 N University Drive. The property is west of University Drive between Wayne Avenue and Thatcher Street. The expansion project doubles the capacity for the house of worship.
Islamic leaders had been trying to accommodate for the growth of the Edmond Muslim faith community since 2013.
Ahmad said the society originally had proposed to build an 8,307-square-foot fellowship hall and mosque, but the new building is about 4,500 square feet, in keeping with size reduction specifications agreed upon with city leaders.
A house adjacent to the original mosque was demolished to make room for the fellowship hall building. New parking was added to the south and west side of the building.
The fellowship hall will serve as a larger mosque, with new, more spacious prayer areas for men and women, larger lobby areas outside both prayer areas and a new kitchen.
Ahmad said the original mosque had seating for about 90 people and the fellowship hall will hold about 180 people. He said Islamic Society leaders will continue to use the original mosque for weekday prayers, while the fellowship hall will be used for larger prayer gatherings such as Friday Jummah prayer and holiday activities like those associated with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the Eid festival that comes after it.
Meanwhile, the new building also includes expansive restrooms with larger areas for Muslims to perform their ablutions before prayer. A soundproof room for mothers with young children and visitors also is included. Ahmad said the room will allow visitors to view prayer gatherings without disturbing the Muslims who come to pray.
Currently, Islamic Society members will use only one floor of the fellowship hall. Ahmad said a future phase of the project will include the development of a second-area called the Mezzanine so that it may be used for activities.
They already tweaked the zoning laws and they aren’t done expanding yet. This is how it creeps.