Hurricane Harvey | Plans to Rebuild

We wish to thank First Baptist Church of Port Aransas for allowing us to meet at their facility after Hurricane Harvey.
On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey changed the landscape and the lives of everyone in Port Aransas. The storm ravished the campus of The Community Presbyterian Church, severely damaging all of the buildings on the campus. The building housing the Helping Hands Food Pantry was completely destroyed and was the first building to be demolished on the campus. Within two months of the storm a portable building was brought in for the Food Pantry so that they could continue to serve the community in the aftermath of the storm. The Sanctuary and the Pollock Social Hall were severely damaged. After many meetings and much prayer, it was decided to try to save the historic sanctuary, but the Pollock building had to be demolished.

During this time the congregation was homeless, meeting in the park and a few times driving to Padre Island for worship services. As soon as the Baptist Church was restored for services, William Campbell generously offered his Sanctuary to the members of the Community Presbyterian Church, where we are still worshiping weekly. We will forever be grateful for their kindness in allowing the Presbyterian Church to worship in their facilities. During this time many meetings were held with the Building and Grounds committee, the insurance adjusters, architects and engineers. Those meeting are still on going.

It was a year before the Church received the first insurance money. The insurance money that has been received to date will not cover rebuilding the entire campus.   After months of meetings with the architects, engineers and the city permitting department, the church was issued a building permit at the end of 2018, for the Pollock Fellowship Hall. The ground work; slab stabilization, new waterlines for the updated sprinkler requirements and plumbing rough in, have been completed and inspected so the site is ready for the first phase of construction. The steel has been ordered for the framing and bids have been circulated for the other construction materials and labor.

The committee has determined that to meet City Code Requirements the Sanctuary will have to be raised to avoid future storm damage and rebuilding the sanctuary will be costlier that tearing it down and starting from the ground up, but because of the historical value to the community the additional cost will be covered through fund raising. The building that houses the Church offices, library and classrooms will be torn down and replaced as funds become available.

The Finance Committee within the church is still working with the insurance companies through a Public Adjuster and hopes to gain additional funds for the rebuilding of the entire campus. The church has recently entered into an agreement to explore grants from FEMA to gain additional funds for the rebuilding of the entire campus. As with other areas of Port Aransas, insurance pay outs and recently passed building regulations are the gating factors in starting and completing the rebuild of the campus.

All of the buildings on the grounds of the church were heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017. The Pollock Center and Food Pantry buildings were demolished earlier, the former JELM Building will be demolished in the future to make way for a new building as soon as funds are raised for the demolition and construction of the Church Offices, Library and Food Pantry.

After months of discussion, church officials have decided not to tear down the historic sanctuary at Port Aransas Community Presbyterian Church. But church officials are seeking financial support to help restore the structures.Included in the plan and budget will be measures to both restore and raise the historic church to 11 feet, and to modernize the campus overall, to meet ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act and other requirements, for ease of access by all.

The total cost the project will be over $3.2 million to restore and rebuild the entire church campus.

The Food Pantry building will not be rebuilt, but a new Food Pantry will be located inside the Church Office Building once it is rebuilt. Initially the Pollock Center was to be taken down to its metal studs and restored, but metal structure was not suitable for reconstruction. The Pollock Fellowship building was rebuilt from the slab up.  Turner and Ramirez Architects have been working closely with the Building and Grounds Committee to create the plans and blueprints for the entire church campus.

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.

Community Presbyterian Church has been worshiping and meeting for bible study at the Pollock Fellowship Hall building until the sanctuary is refurbished.