Freedom From Religion Foundation to expand in Wis.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A national organization of atheists, agnostics and other "freethinkers" is quadrupling space at its Madison headquarters.

Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor says the existing building is cramped and no longer can accommodate the staff needed to support the nonprofit organization's membership growth.

The State Journal reports paid membership is at nearly 20,000, an increase of 130 percent in six years.

The foundation takes on alleged violations of the separation of church and state, sometimes filing lawsuits but more often using the threat of legal action to force changes.

The yearlong project will break ground Monday. They will start by razing an apartment building behind its headquarters to make room for a four-story addition.

They will also remodel the existing 1855 building and add a third story.

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