COLUMBIA—Construction is going smoothly on a new classroom building at Our Lady of the Hills Church, the latest installment of an ongoing building project at the growing parish.
A ground-breaking and site blessing was held on July 18, led by the former pastor, Father D. Anthony Droze, now at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in North Myrtle Beach. Father Robert H. Fix, who is retired and also was pastor of the parish, also attended.
Since the ground-breaking, Father David R. Whitman has become the new pastor of Our Lady of the Hills.
Larry Echerer, chairman of the parish building committee, called the new structure an education wing and an addition to the existing family life center, which houses a gymnasium, meeting and conference space, and a large kitchen.
Echerer said the building will include rooms for organizations, including the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Scouts. It also includes space for choir rehearsals, religious education and extra offices.
“We just don’t have enough office space right now for what the parish needs,” he said.
Some of the church’s offices are currently located in the Croghan Center, which is about two blocks away from the main campus off Marydale Lane.
The first concrete floor has been poured and blocks for the first story erected. Echerer said the next step will be to raise steel beams.
Mashburn Construction is the general contractor. Kirk Davis Design Group, which worked from an approved floor plan submitted by the building committee, designed the structure.
The estimated cost for the project is $1.4 million and Echerer said nearly all of the funds have been raised. He said the target date for completion is mid-January, provided the weather doesn’t delay work.
Our Lady of the Hills was founded in 1972 and has approximately 1,300 households.