After several years of planning and fundraising, Sigel St. Michael the Archangel Church finally broke ground this week on a new gym and parish center that will serve athletics, as well as a gathering place for the community.
The parish has outgrown its current facility, which holds 300 people and received official approval to move forward with construction by the area bishop.
“The new parish hall will hold 600-plus-person events,” said Sigel St. Michael School Principal Nick Niemerg. “We will also be able to hold full-size IESA (Illinois Elementary School Association) games in the gym.”
The Sigel Sharpshooters currently have to travel for a large portion of their basketball games due to the limited size of the gym. For a community that has great pride in family and basketball, the ability to hold large wedding receptions and basketball games is definitely welcomed.
“Everyone in the community is really excited,” said Niemerg. “This will meet the needs of the parish.”
The addition will not only allow for expansion of the current gym, but include another gym as well. It will make room for more restrooms, a dedicated concessions area, locker rooms and a meeting room. The meeting room will also serve as a congregation area for community organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus and Ladies Altar Sodality.
The parish center will serve as a gathering place for Sigel St. Michael the Archangel Church, St. Mary's Church in Neoga, St. Mary Help of Christians Church in Green Creek and Sacred Heart Church in Lillyville.
“There has been a lot of work by a lot people to get to this point,” said Niemerg.
The 120-by-80 foot addition will take six to eight months to construct, depending on the weather, said Niemerg. The parish has raised 70 percent of the $1,138,000 needed to construct it.
Tony Huffman can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, at email@example.com or on Twitter @Ednthuffman.
Want to Help? Donations are still being accepted for the addition. Donations may be mailed, dropped off at the parish offices, or placed in collection baskets. A donation wall in the renovated parish center will feature a â€œGiving Treeâ€� with spaces on the leaves for the names of those who donate.