Al Banks

Nanaimo church expansion project remains on track

NANAIMO – St. Paul's Anglican Church's Centre for Ministry and Community Service is expected to be completed next summer.

A new addition to one of the city’s oldest churches is running smoothly according to the company in charge of the downtown expansion project.

Workers began construction this summer on the Centre for Ministry and Community Service, a roughly 930-square-metre, two-story expansion at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Chapel Street. The $3.4-million centre includes a kitchen, parish hall, office space and multi-purpose rooms that can be used for activities such as weddings.

Al Banks, superintendent for Heatherbrae Construction, said shortly after work began there were some setbacks as they were forced to spend nearly a month removing rocks from the site in order to properly build the foundation. Despite the delay, the centre is on track to be completed by next August.

“There were probably three or four weeks of rock removal just to get where we had to be for the new foundation of the building, so that was a challenge.” Banks said. “Right now everything is on schedule.”

The centre replaces the church’s old hall, which was outdated and did not meet current building regulations. Designed by Nanaimo architects Checkwitch Poiron, the new building features a ceiling-to-floor glass window that will face northwards and is described by the church as a “beacon of light.”

Archdeacon Brian Evans said once the centre is complete it will be accessible for the community at large, not just those who are part of St. Paul’s congregation, adding that the large glass window reflects the church’s openness to the community.

“We really wanted to capture being open to the community,” Evans said.

Despite ongoing construction St. Paul’s continues to hold regular services and will be having its annual Christmas service. For more information, please call 250-753-2523.

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