By SHEILA OJENDYK
GREENVILLE — The faith community at St. Mary Church had a lot to celebrate Sept 13.
Not only was this the day of the parish’s first ministry fair and the annual picnic, it was also the day the parish honored Msgr. Charles J. Baum by blessing the cornerstone of the future recreation center that will bear his name.
Father D. Anthony Droze, pastor, sprinkled holy water on the cornerstone and read Scripture confirming God’s approval of recreation.
Msgr. Baum was pastor at St. Mary from 1953 to 1973 and has served as pastor emeritus since that time. During his tenure as pastor, he oversaw construction of the junior high building and the convent, which now serves as office space for the parish.
St. Mary is now seeing its “Into The Next Century” campaign come to fruition as the parish prepares its legacy for future generations. The first project from the $2 million building campaign was the parish center, a two-story facility used for meetings, conferences and social events.
The Rev. Msgr. Charles J. Baum Parish Recreation Center is the second project of the building campaign and will replace the old gym at Gallivan Hall that dates back to 1929. Gallivan Hall, which is attached to St. Mary School, will be remodeled into additional classroom space and a media center.
Bill Misiaveg, chairman of the building committee, reported that the major prep work for the gym had been completed.
He anticipated that the floor would be poured early this week. The gym will be about 12,000 square feet in size with a regulation-size basketball court. In the past, all official games had to be played off site because the gym was too small.
The gym will also house boys and girls locker rooms with showers, offices, kitchen and storage space. Misiaveg emphasized that great care was taken in the planning to assure that construction materials for both building projects would match the other buildings in the campus.
If all goes according to schedule, the gym will open in February of 1999.
The Pazdan-Smith Group of Greenville designed the new gym, and Shelco Construction of Charlotte is the general contractor.