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Rochester church plans expansion

By Matt Russell

mrussell@postbulletin.com

In a project that would add a significant cultural landmark to Rochester, Saints Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church is planning to build a new church on its site near downtown.

No timetable has been set for the $2.75 million project, the Rev. Nick Kasemeotes said.

Plans for the church were made as space at Saints Anargyroi, which draws members from a wide area of southeastern Minnesota, was getting tighter. Kids and adult programs competed for space, Sunday school classes were held in cramped rooms and the sanctuary was increasingly filling up during services. The sanctuary in the new church would have seating for 280 people, more than double what's available now.

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There's been $1.5 million raised toward the $2 million first phase of the project, in which a 4,865-square-foot church and 1,732-square-foot administration area would be built, Kasemeotes said. In the second phase, the current church building would be renovated into a fellowship hall and education/youth center at an estimated cost of $750,000.

The church is in the process of completing applications for building permits, Kasemeotes said, adding that it isn't clear when the applications will be submitted. The timing of construction also hinges on approval of a loan for the project, he added.

An expanded church building will help increase the Saints Anargyroi's outreach to the Rochester community and to Mayo Clinic patients while its traditional architecture will more completely express the church's Greek Orthodox tradition, Kasemeotes said. Plans for the building have been made by EKONA Architecture + Planning, a San Francisco-based firm.

Saints Anargyroi has occupied its building at 703 Center St. W. since 1954.

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