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CHURCH GROWTH: Years later, church advances on building project

September 3, 2013

Above, St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in Columbia City has been working for nearly a decade to raise funds for the Deacon Joe Zickgraf Community Center, a $989,000 project. Post & Mail photo / Nicole Ott

COLUMBIA CITY — After nearly 10 years of raising funds, St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church, in Columbia City, is able to move forward on its building project that began in 2005.

The church is looking to develop the empty lot to the north of its current building, located at 315 S. Line Street.

The community center will contain a gymnasium, food pantry and full kitchen, and the pricetag has dropped since the initial fund drive in 2005.

The initial estimated cost was $1.1 million, and Father Gary Sigler said he recently worked with contractors to help lower the price to $989,000.

When the project began in 2005, the church was hoping to begin construction in 2010. As that date came and passed, some members of the church became discouraged, but many continued to give money to the fund.

“We have been having a second offering collection every week for the last several years for the building,” Sigler said.

The second collection alone has brought in approximately $4-5,000 per month, Sigler said.

Sigler, who has been with the church for 1.5 years, said many people were anxious to move forward with the project.

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