A local travel insurance company is taking a leap of faith with their newest purchase of a 20,000 square foot church in St. Petersburg.
- Travel insurance company SquareMouth relocating to a St. Pete church
- Company plans to renovate church into a workspace
- Company to give church pews to organization that helps kids in Haiti
Travel insurance company SquareMouth is set to move out of their downtown digs and into the massive church on Central Avenue in the spring.
“We have an awesome workspace now that our employees really like but we are doing something totally different. We have bought a church. It takes up the entire city block so it’s a huge project but we’re really excited and our CEO has a really awesome vision for this space,” said SquareMouth Director of Marketing, Carolyn Leckie.
The owner plans to add a gym, a coffee shop, and lots of employee workspace.
So what kind of company needs an office space that takes up an entire city block? Well the travel insurance comparison site has been compared to sites like Expedia or Orbitz but for travel insurance.
We first told you about SquareMouth last year and showed you around their offices that are equipped with video games, an open bar, and unlimited vacation. Oh and they also have a company boat employees can enjoy. SquareMouth employees don’t sit at traditional desks either so you can imagine the plans here at what used to be Gateway church will be interesting.
“So we want to put like five to 8 tree houses out here and then have, I feel like the way Chris is talking, I think he wants to do the slides and I think we’ll have like walkways that go from balcony out to those treehouses,” Leckie said. “Yeah so essentially we’ll have some bridges because the space is so huge we have to find the best way to get the most out of it.”
Something else that’s unique about this project, the construction company, JS Perry and Company, hired to complete the renovations came up with a good idea for what they can do with some of the sanctuary staples, like their pews.
Karen Lee works for JS Perry and Company and she said she donates to the Future of Haiti Organization that includes an orphanage. She said she told her boss about the charity days before heading to SquareMouth’s new building.
“We were on the way to a job site and he (Steve) says we’re doing this church and we gotta clean it out and the owner of the building wants the pews gone and maybe Reggie would like them? I said yeah!” Lee said.
Reggie is actually Claud Reginald Jean and the pews from SquareMouth will soon be headed to his organization’s orphanage in Haiti. He says the donation will make a huge difference.
“If you go to our website you might see pictures of the children sitting on concrete blocks or standing in the classrooms because they don’t have desks, they don’t have benches to sit,” Jean said. “So this opportunity for precious wood to be modified into benches is something…”
So you’ve got a travel insurance company, a church, and an orphanage all come full circle and will be a blessing to people thousands of miles away.