LONDON GROVE -- In a year or so, what is now the unfinished lower level of Assumption BVM Church on State Road will have a new look.
The congregation undertook a project to convert it to administrative offices, meeting rooms and a social center, and on Sunday they celebrated with a procession and picnic.
The project will cost about $300,000 according to co-chairman Gene Fogarty, and practically all the money has been either raised or pledged.
At the end of the Sunday service, a major portion of the congregation gathered behind a banner and clergy and walked around the outer edges of the church and school property, stopping at several altars along the way. When they returned to the church, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the door of the lower level, and then a midday feast.
Fogarty said the purpose of the project is to provide room for adult and youth education. Thirty percent of the money raised will go to education, while 70 percent will go to the construction.
In response to growth within the parish, Assumption developed a strategic plan that includes three phases:
In August 2012, it added four modular classrooms behind the school to accommodate an enrollment increase, much of it from the closing of St. Patrick school in Kennett Square.
The second phase starting now is the completion of the lower level over a two-year period.
The third phase will be the relocation of the parish office staff to the completed lower level of the church.
Fogarty said the congregation is very generous and has at raised almost all the money. “The next thing is to collect it,” he said.