Nearby: Holy Trinity Construction Progresses in McCandless Township
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church hopes to move out of its temporary location at the former Northway Elementary school by next summer.
After breaking ground in McCandless nearly a year ago, construction of the new Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church continues to progress while future plans shape up.
The Rev. John Touloumes, pastor of Holy Trinity, said Pittsburgh's good summer weather combined with a good general contractor helped keep the building timetable on course. The Byzantine-style church is being erected on 10 acres at the intersection of Babcock Boulevard and Cumberland Road in McCandless.
“Our construction is proceeding in some ways according to schedule and in other ways ahead of schedule,” Touloumes said. “We’re very blessed and so thankful.”
He said one of the biggest concerns was getting the building enclosed before winter so that work could continue despite the weather outside. That's no longer a concern, now that the community center portion and administrative offices are enclosed. The entire structure will soon be enclosed, with the dome topping expected to be completed by November.
Much of the work will then involve exterior and interior finishes, such as the interior trim, and electrical and plumbing work.
“Our construction will be very comfortably done before the official opening,” he said.
Unless there are any unforeseen challenges, Touloumes said “Our construction will be very comfortably done before the official opening. June 22 is when the official first service and consecration of the church, or “Thyranoixia,” a Greek word that means “the opening of the doors” will take place. The service begins outside the church and proceeds for a service indoors.
Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh will preside over the Opening of the Doors service and Pentecost Liturgy the following day.
Once settled, Touloumes said Holy Trinity plans to offer tours, sharing history and information about the new church.
Touloumes said the response from the community continues to be great and the faithful at Holy Trinity are quite enthused by the community’s excitement.
Holy Trinity received lots of feedback at the recent McCandless Days, where Touloumes was invited to offer the invocation as a priest of the community. The church also just ended its annual three-day food festival.
“People are asking about it all the time,” he said “A lot of people are commenting, even with the level of construction we’re at right now, they’re looking forward,” he said.
Touloumes said there has also been some interest from people who aren't Orthodox inquiring about membership. Currently the church has about 250 member families. Touloumes said he hopes the new church will be a vibrant and spiritual attraction that adds to the substance and richness of the community.
“This really isn’t about buildings,” Touloumes said, “this is about building a community.”
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