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Inland Makes Room for Growing Congregation

Wed August 09, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Sheila Irvine

Thirty years ago, the town of Cary, NC, was a small city of about 7,500 people. The Cary Presbyterian Church has a congregation not much bigger than the 150 it had started out with in 1955 when the original sanctuary was built.

“It was built mostly by church labor,” said Jim Hobbs, co-chairman of the church’s building committee.

Basically, it was a sanctuary and a basement, he said.

“Then, in 1965, we added the educational building. It was a separate building, not connected to the sanctuary.”

In 1989, with church membership on the rise, a new sanctuary was built to accommodate 300 people and a choir room.

Now there are 700 people in the congregation, Hobbs said, who can be accommodated in the sanctuary with two Sunday services, “but we have outgrown the educational building and the original sanctuary which we had converted to a fellowship hall.”

Cary has mushroomed to a community of 100,000 — serving as a bedroom community for nearby Raleigh, and the church “needs to bring the educational building up to a level commensurate with our existing sanctuary,” Hobbs said.

So the church called on Inland Construction of Cary to renovate and add to the existing facility.

The $2.3-million construction project was to begin the first of August and is expected to take 11 months to complete, according to Jim Edwards, Inland president.

“We will be building a two-story addition — a fellowship hall — of about 10,000 square feet,” Edwards said. “We’ll completely gut and do a renovation on the existing education building [used for child care and day care], and we’ll be installing a two-story walkway connecting the education building with the sanctuary.”

The sanctuary that was built in 1989 “is fairly contemporary,” Hobbs said. The new construction will be steel-framed with a brick facade, and will use “Hardy plank or Hardy panel components.” The Hardy components from the J. B. Hardy Company are “concrete-based mineral siding that looks like wood, and can, we are told, go 50 years without painting.”

Hobbs said he doubts this particular project will be the end of renovations at the church.

“I can see future growth, step-by-step-by-step,” he said.

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