St. James Church begins restoration project

A Lafayette church is starting a $270,000 restoration project.

Posted: Jul. 9, 2018 4:46 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lafayette church is starting a $270,000 restoration project.

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Monday was demo day Saint James Lutheran Church. Church members volunteered to remove more than 30 pews. They then had the difficult task of removing more than one-thousand nails from the oak floor. Later this week, renovation crews are going in to repair crumbling plaster and refinish the floors. The church also purchased new pews.

Church member Julie Grott said the renovations will last well into the future.

"I feel like we are going to turn over a building that is going to be sound and stable and beautiful for the next generation - 50 to 100 years," Grott said. "I'm anxious to give them that gift so they don't have to worry about it."

Grott said they are going back to how the church looked in the 1850s.

"We kind of set the bar very high. We took some of the original pictures of the church and sent them out. That's what we wanted to go back to. Some of the members were thinking that was too much. They said, "Let's wait and see." But we're just going to go back to almost the original. So that's pretty cool," Grott said.

The last major renovation at the church was done about 40 years ago. Grott said she mostly looks forward to tearing out the 1970s wood paneling.The project is slated to finish in November.

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