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House coming down for church expansion

July 27, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A 19th-century brick house at 219 E. Main St. is being demolished this week to provide for the expansion of Waynesboro's only Catholic church.

"The parish is growing," the Rev. David S. Keller of St. Andrew Catholic Church said.

In the two years he has been with the parish, it has grown from 640 to 710 families, he said.

The Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., purchased a duplex at 26/28 N. Broad St., and that structure is being demolished concurrently with the brick house on Pa. 16.

A feasibility study is being conducted to address the parish's response to a growing community, according to Keller.

St. Andrew Catholic Church sent 700 surveys to parishioners and had 155 returned.

Approximately 30 percent of respondents identified the parish facilities as inadequate. A similar percentage said they are "adequate" or "very adequate."

Three-fourths of the respondents said they'd like to expand the church at its present location rather than move elsewhere.

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"We're looking at getting adjacent property and using the property we have (to expand)," Keller said.

The two-story house would have been too costly to renovate, Keller said.

The diocese owns the property and agreed to demolish it.

"It's no longer considered safe on the inside," Keller said, identifying concerns as a narrow stairwell, the single exit, furnace failure and other code violations. Asbestos abatement preceded demolition.

The house did not have historic designation, Keller said.

The site of the duplex will temporarily be used for parking.

Further information about the feasibility study and parish projects can be found at www.standrewwbo.org.

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