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Ground for St. Mark's Episcopal Church building blessed

June 02, 2008

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, just off Sharpsburg Pike at 18313 Lappans Road, celebrated a ground blessing Sunday for a construction project.

The church is building a new handicapped-accessible, environmentally friendly, 3,200-square-foot building. Planned for construction behind the parish hall, built in 1955, the new building is intended to accommodate the parish's growing ministries, especially those that reach out to the surrounding community.

The lower level of the new building will feature four areas for meetings and classroom use, including a large room to be called the Cook Conference Center. It is named in memory of the late Boyd M. Cook, who served St. Mark's in many capacities, most recently as senior warden and co-chair of the Capital Campaign Committee.

The upper floor will feature a large hall that can be arranged to accommodate people for worship and other activities, and a welcoming foyer area. The hall is named Dorsey Hall, in memory of the late Paul and Jane Dorsey.

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The foyer will be named for the late Jane Myers, as requested by her son Jack Myers, in thanksgiving for her service to St. Mark's as his gift in her honor. Five generations of the Myers family have called St. Mark's their church home.

Drop-off areas will serve both levels to make the facility accessible to the handicapped. The upper level will also include a small catering kitchen, and both levels will include restrooms.

Construction will begin shortly, and the building is scheduled to be open on or near April 12 (Easter) 2009.

The historic stone church will remain open and in regular use for worship on Sundays, even after the new building is completed, said the Rev. Anne Weatherholt, rector.

All the other buildings at St. Mark's - the old rectory, now called the McKinley Center, which houses office and classroom space, and the parish hall - also will remain open.

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