After many months of planning and preparation, we have finally begun the long-awaited renovation of St. Nicholas Cathedral. The planning process included numerous meetings with various consultants, multiples interviews to select general contractors Berglund and JLK Architects, and thorough construction planning, scheduling and permitting.
This important step forward was made possible thanks to the parishioners of the Eparchy who have generously supported the Capital Campaign “Building Our Faith Together, in Unity and with Gratitude”. As of today, we have raised $2,146,016 in pledges and gifts, of which total payments to-date have reached $1,127,256.
Given the size and distribution of the St. Nicholas Eparchy, the Campaign was planned to be conducted in three phases: Phase 1- parishioners of St. Nicholas Cathedral; Phase 2 – other Chicago-area parishes; and Phase 3 – the remaining parishes of the Eparchy.
We had a successful kick-off on May 12th, 2019 and we are encouraged by the progress we have achieved so far in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our campaign. Unfortunately, we had to postpone Phase 3 due to the current pandemic and financial crisis. The launch of this phase is planned for later this month.
The Renovation Committee, including architects, engineers and contractors, has thoroughly assessed the structural needs of the Cathedral and has decided to first focus on the most serious issues of the structure, which are the Cathedral roof, domes and the resultant water permeation damage along the back walls of the sanctuary. More specifically, the plan calls for stabilizing the domes, repairing the roof structure, replacing damaged roofing tiles, repairing water-damaged ceilings and walls and addressing aesthetic repairs. All renovation needs have been prioritized to address the most serious structural issues as early as possible and the renovation will be carried out in three stages.
The scaffolding for Stage 1 is now up, and our partners Berglund and JLK Architects are currently examining the roof to give us a more thorough picture as to the severity of the damage. According to the general contactor’s schedule and assuming no major surprises, we should be able to finish the exterior repairs by winter.
Although our ambitious goal for the Cathedral renovation requires considerably more funding, we have no choice but to begin the renovation to address the necessary and urgent repairs and to preserve it for the generations to come.