Lemitar church construction progressing

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Lemitar’s La Sagrada Familia church will be made of Apex blocks, but it will look much like the beloved church it replaces. The original La Sagrada Familia church collapsed in June, 2010.

K. Bailey-Bowman/El Defensor Chieftain: Construction proceeds on La Sagrada Familia Church in Lemitar. The new church will be a smaller version of the previous building.

The blocks are made of a mixture of concrete and styrofoam and produce thick walls that resemble adobe construction.

Work on the church is progressing pretty much on schedule, although keeping the new church to the old floor plan with a dozen corners slows the pace down, project contractor Dewey Christensen said Thursday.

“We’re hoping to be done in time for January first and the fiesta, but I’m giving no promises,” he said.

The new church will be smaller and much more stable than the previous building.

“It’s 400 square feet smaller. It has a massive foundation — a concrete stem wall. Plus, the dirt grade has been elevated to eliminate moisture,” he said. “The walls are reinforced with horizontal and vertical rebar and concrete is poured in the cells. It’s fireproof, waterproof, bug proof, and has an R50 insulation value.”

The Apex Company, based in Oregon, has helped the church reconstruction project meet its goals.

“The company has been very helpful, visiting weekly to offer advice,” Christensen said. He added the company gave the diocese a price break on materials.

Father Andy Pavlak, pastor of San Miguel Parish and its missions, including the Lemitar church, is optimistic

“We’re hoping to continue forward with the process, Ideally, we’d like to be open by January 1, when the community celebrates its fiesta,” Pavlak said.

To help with the costs of construction, Pavlak said the parish is accepting donations or the opportunity to purchase memorial bricks.

“For $100, people can buy a memorial brick with an inscription,” he said. “The blocks will be placed in the church’s courtyard.”

Donations for the memorial blocks can be left at the San Miguel Church Office in Socorro, and forms for the bricks can be picked up from any of the parish mayordomos: Lorella and Bill Chavez, Donald Padilla or Genevie Baca.

For more information, please call the church office at 835-2891.

 

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