SHELBYVILLE, Ky. — The Church of the Annunciation recently announced plans to build a new parish center that will transform the look of its downtown campus.
The center will address two primary needs — safety and functionality, said Father Mike Tobin, pastor of Annunciation, in an interview last week.
Annunciation is bordered by two one-way streets in downtown Shelbyville. The current Annunciation Community Center sits just west of the campus proper, across Second Street.
The current facility is housed in a former electric supply building. The church bought the building in 2008 because the growing parish, particularly among the Hispanic community, needed gathering space, Father Tobin said.
There are about 800 families who attend Annunciation and about 45 percent of those are Hispanic, Father Tobin said.
The space is used for large social gatherings, bereavement meals, Lenten fish fries, Scout meetings, youth group gatherings and as an educational space for religious education classes, among other things. But, the current building was not designed for such use. It’s considered a fire hazard and stands in possible violation of current safety codes, Father Tobin said.
“As pastor, I’ve lived with that worry” of a fire and people potentially being harmed, he said. “Now is the time to tear down this facility and build a better designed, safer and permanent social hall.”
The new building will also be able to better accommodate the daily activities of the bustling campus. The current Annunciation Community Center is in use seven days a week.
The proposed plan is to tear down the current ACC building facing Main Street. along Second Street. That area will become parking. The new ACC building will be constructed in the current parking lot and will connect to the current Education Building. It will hold a large social hall, commercial-sized kitchen, storage areas for the Altar Society, Men’s Club and Hispanic ministries. Additional classroom space will also be available for meeting rooms.
The new building will mirror the look of the 1860 church building, which was expanded in 2000. It will feature a tall atrium in the center and will be about 8,400 square feet.
The location of the new parish center will better unite the campus, said Kerry Magan, parishioner and chair of the building committee.
Children and adults will be able to walk safely from one building to another without the danger of traffic. Accessible parking spaces and a drop off area also make it more convenient for those with mobility needs, he said.
Father Tobin said the new construction is meant to propel the parish forward in the next 10 to 20 years.
“As new families move to Shelbyville, we hope this newly-constructed attractive space will meet their needs,” Father Tobin said.
The projected cost of the facility is $1.41 million. To date, about $851,000 has been pledged from parishioners. The parish plans to open the facility around Easter 2020.