Grace Episcopal undergoing exterior renovation

PROVIDENCE – Encased on two sides by scaffolding, Grace Episcopal Church is undergoing a nearly $800,000 exterior renovation that will clean and restore its stonework.
In addition to cleaning and repairing the stone, and repointing the masonry, the renovation will repair and paint the metal roof, which has leaked for several years, according to the Rev. Jonathan Huyck.
“Our primary goal is to seal the envelope,” he said. “We’ve had, for years, significant problems of water infiltration.”
The renovation is expected to be completed in August.
Financed through congregant contributions, it will be followed by a major capital campaign, the first undertaken by the church in 25 years. The plan is to expand into a new building, built over a portion of the adjoining parking lot owned by the church, he said.
The parish hall project, which could begin in another year, will require city approvals and is expected to cost $2 million to $3 million.
Grace Episcopal Church, built in 1846, is the oldest operating Episcopal church in Providence. It last had a major capital campaign in 1990. The church, at Westminster and Mathewson streets, is in an historic district.
The plan for the new addition would provide the church with a fellowship and community room, one that would be accessible to people who have mobility issues. The existing fellowship space, or gathering space, is not accessible to the handicapped and requires people to maneuver two flights of stairs.
The proposed space for the expansion is now used for parking. About half of the lot would be needed under the initial plans, Huyck said.
Although no final design is available, the idea is to nestle the new structure against the existing church, and create a connected space.
The general contractor and painting contractor for the exterior renovation is E.F. O’Donnell & Sons of Providence, which specializes in church projects.

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