Plans for a new, expanded Indiana Islamic Center on West Pike just west of Walker Lane were approved Tuesday night at the White Township Planning Commission’s monthly meeting.
The plans call for a 3,444-square-foot prayer room and a 2,535-square-foot social room, with 44 parking spaces — space that the center’s secretary, Muhammad Suliman, said is greatly needed.
“The community is growing,” he said this morning. “Many people, they don’t come because there’s no space.”
The Islamic Center is located at 132 Philadelphia St., where it has been since 1996, Suliman said.
Previously, Muslim students gathered in the Hadley Union Building on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus, but a group of students began looking into a location off-campus for the five daily prayers they practice, according to the center’s website.
That grew into the foundation of the Islamic Center of Indiana in 1995; they purchased the current location the next year, Suliman said.
Currently they hold evening prayers every night, a Friday congregation at 1 p.m. and Sunday classes from noon to 3 p.m. Between 60 and 80 people attend the Friday congregation, Suliman said, but he expects that 100 or more people will start attending once the new building is open and more space is available.
Construction at the West Pike site, which sits just east of the ARIN Intermediate Unit 28 building, is expected to start in May or June, he said.
In other business, the commission voted to:
- Approve a final minor subdivision for James P. Jr. and Patricia Youd on Fulton Run Road, consisting of a 0.641-acre side lot addition; and a final minor subdivision for Paul J. and Robin A. Allen at 1290 Lowman Road, separating a roughly 5-acre lot and house out of the larger, nearly 49-acre tract of land.
- Approve a final site plan for the Indiana Mall’s sign at 2334 Oakland Ave. and for Indiana Regional Medical Center’s new sign and message board at Sixth Street and IRMC Drive.
- Recommend to the township supervisors that the fees for stormwater management plan reviews go up from $450 to $550 for the first four hours of review, reflecting the increase in cost to the township; any time over those four hours will be billed hourly to the developer.
- Send comments on the sketch plan for a proposed Delaney Hyundai and Subaru dealership and possible hotel on Oakland Avenue to the developer. The comments focused on the planners’ concerns regarding traffic on Lenz Road and at the Lenz Road-Oakland Avenue intersection.