School gym takes shape

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Planning for the new Church of the Nativity parish activities center in Burke began in 2008 when Father Richard B. Martin was pastor. It took six years before ground would be broken. On Sept. 13, 2014, Father Robert C. Cilinski, pastor, and Father Frank J. Ready, founding pastor, turned over soil in a ceremony marking the start of construction.

The gym, also known as the parish hall and a part of the activities center, will be ready to use in December. The entire parish activity center will be completed shortly after that. In addition to the parish hall, the activity center will house classrooms and meeting rooms.

Project architect Theresa del Ninno, a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Alexandria, said that the "very active" parish has been waiting a long time for more meeting rooms.

Phase two of the project will include work on the church entrance and construction of more meeting rooms. Jason Lewis, Arlington Diocesan construction manager, said phase two should be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

School Principal Maria Kelly is eagerly awaiting the completion of the gym/parish hall. Although she said that planning for the activity center has been going on for years and the hall will be used for many parish activities, the school is waiting for the first basketball game.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015