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Jun 09, 2011

Resurrection, Austin, Breaks Ground on Renovation

Resurrection, Austin GroundbreakingMembers of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection (ECR), Austin, gathered on the parish grounds Sunday, June 5th to celebrate the groundbreaking of Phase One the first step of a three part project.  This first phase begins with improving of ECR’s parking lots, drives, grounds and gardens. Besides improving handicapped access, it will also update ECR’s 3.7 acre campus that will provide an enhanced neighborhood site for fine arts performances.


It will be followed by Phase Two and Phase Three which will build a new parish hall and finally end by renovation of the church building.  This first phase will cost $365,000.00. The rector of ECR, the Rev. James V. Stockton, was pleased to acknowledge that Phase One would be completed without any mortgage debt being necessary due to monies for Phase One being 100 percent funded by parishioners’ gifts.


Earlier the same day at services, the Stockton recounted how six years ago, a large gathering of servants of this community met for a day-long retreat. They did hard work, entered into rigorous prayer and discerned some worthy goals and callings of God. These callings and goals have formed the foundation upon which the succeeding six years of focused effort have been building.


Stockton added, “The leadership decided literally to open up access to this community by opening up access to our campus...Parking lots, driveways, and a new building for parish hall, classrooms, and activities, were recognized by everyone along the way as nothing more, but nothing less, than tools to make our ministries happen, tools to help us answer God’s call. Just as in their day, the focus of the disciples must be set free from the person of Jesus, so has our focus here at ECR remained free from focusing on the tangible blessing of additions to our campus, to rest instead upon the spiritual blessings of the addition to our community of fellow servants of God.”


At the picnic held Sunday, June 5, a formal groundbreaking was blessed by Stockton. He and Mike Paulson (Co-Chair of the Building Committee), Kenneth DeSilva (Building Committee Member), Brian McElligott (Head Warden of ECR) and Travis Wilkes (General Manager for John King Construction) shared the shovel duties that began clearing the way for the new front drive of the main ECR building.


Jon Ellis, who has worked diligently beside his co-chair, Paulson, said, “Grass roots programs to support neighborhood needs are essential to a healthy modern life.  The realities of overwhelming demands on local and state government require communities of faith to provide a wider range of services than ever before...Resurrection has begun a summer 2011 project to respond, at least in part, to changes in one of the fastest growing areas of central Austin."


Phase one improvements, which will be completed late summer of 2011, is part of a comprehensive plan designed by Austin architect George Ensle that will eventually include a new Community Life Center or parish hall which will include expanded meeting, classroom, and exercise space. The existing ECR campus facilities, most of which were constructed between 1964 and 1974 will continue in service while the summer work is done by John King Construction Inc.