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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
South Tampa News

Historic Sacred Heart Church to get ‘facelift’


Published:   |   Updated: July 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Sacred Heart Church, in a historic 110-year-old building on Florida Avenue, is about to get a facelift.

The plan, called the Parish Plaza Project, “started with some things we needed to fix” for safety reasons, said the Rev. George Corrigan, including replacing granite steps that had settled and removing a concrete platform that had cracked.

“Then we decided we needed to do more as we really have a place to gather except the back of the church that can be very noisy,” said the pastor of the church on Florida Avenue at Twiggs Street.

The plan now includes benches, LED lighting on tandem light poles, Wausau concrete planters where annuals can be changed with the seasons, trellises for new greenery and more.

A statue of the Virgin Mary on the Twiggs Street side will be refurbished and moved to a different location to create a prayer garden effect.

“We want it to be inviting, welcoming, a place where the community can sit and gather,” Corrigan said.

The project, estimated to cost $350,000, is set to begin July 21 and scheduled for completion in early September.

The pastor said the church has the funds available for the project but hopes to raise additional funds through memorial opportunities, such as sponsoring a bench, but details have not been finalized.

One possibility is to use the old granite steps, cut crosswise into slabs, for memorial tributes, he said.

The church’s main entrance will remain open during the renovation. But other portions will be closed in rotation and temporary ramps will be added.

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