Hurricane Harvey Update - September 2018 article credit - Port A South Jetty Newspaper Zach Perkins-reporter
After months of discussion, church officials have decided not to tear down the historic sanctuary at Port Aransas Community Presbyterian Church and the JELM building, a spokesman said. But church officials are seeking financial support to help restore the structures.
All of the buildings on the grounds of the church were heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 25, 2017. The Pollock Center and Food Pantry buildings recently were demolished.
“No other buildings are coming down, but we can’t start any construction on the sanctuary and JELM until funds are raised,” said Veril Barr, the building and grounds elder for the church.
Barr said as of Monday, June 11, that the church was $1.5 million, or 60 percent short of the money needed to restore the iconic sanctuary and JELM.
The means the total cost the project will be $2.1 million.
Once the funds are raised, both buildings will be restored and elevated to 11 feet, he said.
The Food Pantry building will not be rebuilt, but a new Food Pantry will be located inside the Pollock Center once it is rebuilt. Initially the Pollock Center was to be taken down to its metal studs and restored. But church officials were notified that the metal structure was not suitable for the reconstruction. Plans are to replace the metal studs with wooden ones, Barr said.
The church received insurance money to cover the rebuild of only one of its buildings on the grounds: The Pollock Center. Barr said preliminary blueprints to rebuild the building are expected to be delivered later this month by Turner and Ramirez Architects.
Though church officials are working with a public adjuster, the Rev. Steve Shullanberger is asking for support to because of the large financial gap.
“As you are able, would you prayerfully consider making a pledge to Community Presbyterian for the purpose of helping us rebuild? Your gift, of whatever amount, will be used entirely to help us restore our facilities, and continue the ministries serving the people of Port Aransas, and the surrounding area,” Shullanberger said in a letter to the congregation.
After the Pollock Center is built, church services will be held in that building until the sanctuary is refurbished.
“We have been meeting at First Baptist Church, and we are very thankful for them until we can get the Pollock Center built,” Barr said.