Carol Hobbs DeRosa and Brenda Hooper are rallying the community to help raise funds to finish the St. Andrews Church revitalization.

Community spirit call for church renos

St. Andrews Church looking to build new foundation for Rossland community

For the last eight months, St Andrew’s United Church in Rossland has been undergoing major development work as part of a $344,000 renovation project funded by a Built Heritage Columbia Basin Trust grant.

Having been unsuccessful in its latest grant bid to finish off the works, the church is calling on its community to dig deep and help it raise the $100,000 shortfall that would complete upgrades and qualify it for occupation.

Faced with a situation familiar to many churches across Canada, with a historic building too large for its congregation but in need of revitalization, the iconic 120-year-old building with its landmark 1950s Red Roof, sits on the corner of Queen Street and 1st Avenue in Rossland.

Over the years it has been a place of worship and has served the community by sharing its space with countless groups like scouts, guides, parents and tots. It has also hosted dinners, concerts, and provided the stage for major life events for local people.

In the summer of 2017 Seven Summits Centre for Learning (7S) moved in, infusing new purpose to the heritage building. Its high school student cohort has been breathing life, laughter, song, drama and future proofed learning practices into it ever since.

With extensive renovations to the sanctuary and basement now complete, the stewards of this community asset have successfully created a flexible space that will elevate the relationship with the public, strengthen ties, and attract even more artists, music, social events and community groups to the building seven days a week.

“We’re in the process of preparing for the future and getting our church building ready for its community and congregation for the next hundred years,” said Carol Hobbs DeRosa who sits on the project management team for St. Andrew’s United Church, which belongs to the Communities in Faith Pastoral Charge (CIF).

This project team, with members from the church, 7S, and the community, planned improvements which K2 Contracting Ltd. has worked hard and well to complete.

The renovations include replacing 100-year-old wooden foundations with concrete, creating a proper basement under 60 per cent of the sanctuary, preparing a new mechanical-electrical room, levelling the sanctuary floor and improving physical accessibility.

The fixed pews have also been removed in favour of flexible stacked seating.

“We’re committed to getting the building ready for occupation by the end of the year and need our community’s help to get us over the final hurdle,” added DeRosa.

A new electrical panel to service the sanctuary and basement as well as an HVAC system – airflow and furnace – needs to be installed to make the sanctuary and basement a warmer, more comfortable and habitable space. Gyproc must be added to the basement walls and ceiling for fireproofing. The sanctuary could also benefit from a painted facelift on its walls and new flooring.

To make the rehabilitation project of the church complete, the works need to be financed through grants and charitable giving. Donations qualify as charitable donations with up to a 46 per cent tax rebate.

There are many ways to help. Via e-transfer to cifpc.trail@gmail.com, by cheque to Communities in Faith Pastoral Charge, or via website cifpc.ca, going to ‘Donate Now’ and using CanadaHelps.org. Please designate funds to St Andrew’s Facilities and be sure to include your name, address, and phone number in order to receive a charitable receipt.

Cheques may be mailed to 1300 Pine Ave., Trail, BC, V1R 4E6.

To donate time, skills, services and expertise to the St Andrew’s United Church rehabilitation project please contact DeRosa at carolhobbsderosa@gmail.com, or Brenda at BrendaHooper2@gmail.com.

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Contractor hoists beam in major renovation at St. Andrews United Church in Rossland. Photo: submitted

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