After almost a two-year hiatus, the St. Athanasius building committee gave a presentation Wednesday night on the history of the parish’s building program. Fr. Justin challenged those desiring to be part of this process to “dream big,” noting that there are “no wrong answers” about the project at this phase.
“The temple we build on the hill will be evangelical – first to ourselves and our children,” Fr. Justin said. The building will help us to reach out first to those Orthodox who are not currently attending a parish, and then to the broader community.
Veteran building committee member Tim Powell gave a brief summary of the committee’s work, starting from its formation after the initial land purchase in September 2005. Several architects gave presentations to the parish including Bob Latsko; David Elder of Elder Construction in Louisville; Todd Ott of CMW, a local Lexington firm; and Alex Christoforidis of Synthesis Design in Cincinnati. The parish also hosted an educational presentation about the unique aspects of Kentucky architecture, given by Mr. Powell.
In August 2006, the parish bought the adjoining 7 ½ acres of land and kicked off a capital campaign. The parish decided to pay off the land before building, resulting in our two-year pause in regular building committee activity. In it earlier incarnation, the building committee, Mr. Powell reported, had reached consensus on several questions. First, it was agreed that the committee wanted an Orthodox architect, who may or may not be local. Second, the committee reached unanimity on the preference for a local builder—someone with local contacts. Finally, there was consensus that the worship space—the temple—would need to be the primary focus of our efforts.
Fr. Justin laid out the steps that lie before us. He emphasized that at each step, prayer would be essential:
1. Commission a complete survey of the land.
2. Identify—in communication with ministry stewards and all the people—what our needs as a parish are with regard to the land.
3. Assist the priest and mission council in hiring an architect, who will in turn create a site plan.
4. Bring in a geotechnical specialist to analyze the ground under the “footprint” of the buildings on our site plan.
5. Pull permits and secure loans.
6. Begin building!
Architects Bob Latsko and Deacon James Bryant will be here next weekend (June 28th and 29th) to speak about their vision and to learn about us. They will be offering talks Saturday afternoon before Vespers and Sunday afternoon following Liturgy. The first brainstorming meeting for building is scheduled for Thursday, July 10th at 7pm. All building meetings are open to all. If you would like to commit to be part of this process, please see Fr. Justin.
As part of our efforts to hear the voice of the people, we hope to set up a parish building blog through our website. Stay tuned for our building blog and be ready to voice your thoughts!