A Roman Catholic presence in the Shenandoah Valley since 1932

Building Chairman's Update

building project

June 21, 2019

My fellow Parishioners,

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our new church. Since January 2019 much progress has been made on the construction of our new building. From January through March our steel framing was erected with great excitement. Anyone who missed watching the steel go up should check out the time lapse video posted on our web site. (Link: Photo Gallery) During the months of March, April, and early May, the plumbing, electrical conduits, and concrete floors were installed. Most of this work which was not visible from the road actually caused some parishioners to think progress had slowed. On the contrary, construction work has been steadily moving at a rapid pace. Our outside walls, which are made of concrete, began to rise this past Spring and will continue throughout the Summer.

I have received some questions about why our walls are white. The “white” everyone is seeing is white insulate foam which makes up the concrete form. These blocks assemble much like Lego blocks and have plastic holders inside to maintain the steel rebar in place while the concrete is poured. Since the foam is not removed once the concrete wall has hardened, and the plastic holders minimize the amount of ties needed to hold the rebar in place, our walls are rising at a much more rapid pace than if we were using conventional construction methods. The “whiteness” will disappear as the stone is erected on the outside and drywall is placed on the inside. All of these materials will give us an exceptionally high R-value for insulation allowing our heating and cooling equipment to operate most efficiently. (Link: ICF method)

In the months ahead stone masons will begin to place the stone on the outside of our concrete walls. They will start around mid-July and begin their work at the back of the building. Their work may not be readily visible until they wrap around the transepts, however, once started they will continue placing the stone until they complete the work sometime in December 2019. By Fall, the roof work will be completed which will then allow interior drywall work to commence. Once the exterior of our church is closed in, only the stone masons’ activities will be visible from the road.

The construction project is still on schedule and I fully expect we will be holding services in the new church by Pentecost 2020, if not sooner. It is hard for me to believe we will actually be in our new church in less than 12 months. For the past seven months we have managed to pay all of our bills with cash collected from donations and pledges. We have set up a construction loan with the Diocese that will be used only when our cash-on-hand is insufficient to pay our bills. We will only pay interest on the loan once we begin to use it. So anyone who pays off their pledges early can help save significant money in lower interest payments. We need to be very thankful for all of our donors, both within the parish and outside of the parish, for their awesome and wonderful generosity. 

We ask that you please continue to pray for the success of our building project. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance and your support we look forward to holding our first service no later than Pentecost 2020. 

I welcome any feedback you choose to give. I promise to contact you as expeditiously as possible so that you have the opportunity to ask additional questions.



Phillip Thorpe

Chair, St. John the Evangelist Church Building Committee

3D church building