More than a year after fire destroyed a parish hall in Essex Junction, church leaders plan to rebuild bigger than before.
The Holy Family and St. Lawrence Parish Hall burned to the ground after lightning sparked a fire last July. Parish leaders say they plan to break ground on a new facility as early as January. The space will be 30 percent larger than the old hall, with six classrooms on the lower level and a fellowship hall, kitchen and library upstairs. The project is slated to cost at least $1 million.
"We had spent a lot of energy and money to renovate the parish hall that we had and it was very well utilized. It was a historical building. Meant a great deal to members of the community here in Essex. But it's an opportunity to build another building hopefully to serve the parish in even a better way," said Father Charles Ranges of the Holy Family and St. Lawrence Church.
Holy Family merged with St. Lawrence five years ago. The two parishes serve nearly 1,000 families.