A new addition at the Church of the Resurrection is starting to take shape.
Weather has played a role in the progress of the $4.8 million project that is creating a bigger sanctuary southwest of the church and renovating current space. Construction got underway last October after an August groundbreaking.
A long winter and multiple spring days of rainy weather put a bit of a damper on the project, but it is continuing to move along with a November completion date in sight.
The majority of the framework is done on the addition that will house a new worship center. The roof will soon be complete and the floor should be poured this week, said Mike Spilinek, chairman of the church’s building committee.
Compared to the current worship center, the addition will be able to seat more parishioners during Masses for the growing congregation. Seating will increase by more than 200, with up to an approximate 500 capacity inside the worship space. The current sanctuary will be renovated into a new gathering area.
The project also will create a larger area where the priest prepares for Mass, more space for the choir and a more accessible entrance. There will be improved parking to the west and drainage issues will also be addressed.
This is the latest big renovation for the Catholic church that was created in 1973 and had its building dedicated in 1975.
The previous large project was in 2000 when a fellowship hall, classrooms and a small gathering space were added. As soon as that work was done, the parish started to look toward the future.
“We said our next goal was to build a brand new sanctuary because at the time we were beginning to increase in size,” Spilinek said.
At that time, the church had about 300 families as members. That total has grown to 400.
The increase can be attributed to the location of the church at 4110 Cannon Road in the western part of the city — an area where a lot of residential development is occurring.
The Rev. Joseph Kadaprayil, the pastor at Resurrection, hopes the addition will attract even more Catholics and others to join the parish.
There could be a greater sense of community among members with a larger worship space, too. The church currently has three weekend Masses. Those coming to those services might not have an opportunity to mingle and visit with each other. A bigger worship area could draw more people to a liturgical service.
“I think there will be greater social interaction between different families of the parish because more people are able to be together at one time,” Kadaprayil said.
For the time being, Mass schedule will remain the same, but there could be discussions in the future about reducing the number of services, he said.
Having the new, roomier space will also address overcrowding issues experienced during Christmas and Easter services. Two Masses have been held simultaneously on those days in the worship space and fellowship hall because there isn’t enough room in the worship area.
The project is being paid for through a fundraising campaign. So far, $2.8 million has been collected, said Joan Wiese, campaign secretary.
The latest phase in the campaign has a goal of raising a minimum of $1 million to reduce debt on the project.
The design for the addition fits in with the name of the church, with a roof line that angles high into the air.
“It’s kind of in the theme of the risen Christ,” Spilinek said.
The structure will also have a baptismal font and more natural light that he said will be “very airy.”
Mass will continue to be held in the current worship space for about another month until renovation work begins to convert it into the new gathering space. After that, Mass will be held in the fellowship hall until the new sanctuary is ready to open.