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St. Augustine’s church in Freeland plans a big expansion
St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church in Freeland is moving ahead with an expansion that will nearly triple its existing space.
“We’re really excited,” said Susan Sandri of Langley, chairwoman of the building committee. “The parish has been growing, and we need the room. All our spaces have been woefully inadequate.”
Plans call for a 9,400-square-foot, two-story expansion to the existing 5,600-square-foot church. An existing 2,200-square-foot office and education building would be demolished to make way for the addition.
A public hearing conducted by Island County’s hearing examiner on the church’s site plan is Thursday in Coupeville.
Sandri said the goal is to begin construction on the new building in October, with completion in the spring. The “very ballpark” cost is $1.5 million, which is being raised through a capital campaign, she said.
The new addition will include an entry, fellowship hall, staff offices, lounge, restrooms, kitchen, storage and mechanical room, plus unfinished space that could be used later.
The new building is the first phase of a long-term project. Phase two could be completed “in a few years or 20 years,” Sandri said.
She said the second phase probably would involved expansion of the church’s sanctuary space.
The architect for the addition is Stig Carlson of Coupeville, who is known for his emphasis on green projects and who has won numerous sustainability awards. The firm designed the Freeland Library and is in charge of the new Coupeville Library expansion.
Sandri said a contractor has been tentatively selected for the addition, and that negotiations are under way to finalize that piece of the project.
The church, built more than 50 years ago, sits on a little more than four wooded acres off Honeymoon Bay Road.
Sandri said membership includes about 120 families, and continues to grow. She said the goal is to provide regular seating and educational space for 200 people.
Fundraising for the new addition began this past year.
“We are still fundraising, but are confident in going forward,” she said.
More than $1 million already has been pledged to the project.
Sandri said the new fellowship hall might also serve as a community meeting space.
She said parking and Sunday school space have been a problem as attendance has increased. She said more parking would be provided.
Sandri said the church’s columbarium won’t be effected, and won’t be disturbed during construction.
She said no evergreen trees and no mature shrubs will be removed. “That was a big thing for us,” she said.
However, some “scraggly alders” may be taken out, and a few recently planted trees will be relocated, she said.
“Our priority is to be absolutely respectful of our site,” Sandri said.
“Our building and razing practices will all be green.”
“And when we’re done, we should have a nice view of Holmes Harbor through the trees,” she added.
The church is at 5217 Honeymoon Bay Road.
The county’s public hearing on the church addition will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, in the commissioners’ hearing room in the basement of the County Annex Building, 1 NE Sixth St., in Coupeville.