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PUTATAN – The 11 Oct 2017 site visit by Archbishop John Wong revealed a marked progress in the construction works of the new St Catherine Laboure Church here.
The prelate was accompanied by Father Wilfred Atin, pastor of St Michael Penampang.
Since the visit two months ago, the brick walls have been put up, the beam that needed to be knocked down has been done, the arches and outside columns have been completed, and the columns, beams and brickwork for the bell tower have been cast.
Due to cash constraint, architect Tan Jun Kwang said that the works have taken a conservative and priority-based approach.
As the priority is to complete the church, works are prioritised according to needs.
Tan added that in terms of structure, all that was needed to be done was done.
The next two immediate priorities would involve the finishing of the brick and glass walls, followed by performance works involving the water gutters, the electrical and mechanical trades.
To a question raised by Abp Wong, Tan gave the assurance that the following would receive his immediate attention: the need to simplify the electrical drawings and to call for tender, and the need to study the roofing structure in order to accommodate the proposal for an uncovered ceiling.
Tan further reported that the beams and brick walls, scheduled to be up in a month’s time, necessitate the wiring works to be in place beforehand.
The architect assured his client that the cash-strapped project, which has taken a long period to reach to the present stage, would be completed regardless of cash difficulty.
Present at the site meeting were Datuk Stephen Sondoh, chairman of the Steering Committee and his team.
Also present were members of Penampang Parish Finance and Property Committee: Ernest Mojikon, Hector Jintoni, Richard Jomiji and Donald Malinggang.
Abp Wong has brought in the Penampang team, led by Fr Atin, to assist the Steering Committee in coordinating the project.
“We are not here to take over, but to help,” Fr Atin told the Steering Committee and asked for communication and cooperation from all quarters. The ultimate aim was to bring to completion the long overdue project.
Matters pertaining to sourcing for donations of church pews, road access, the update on the building of a two-way bridge, and requirement of SESB would be tabled at the next steering committee meeting in October.
Sondoh also told those present that the current fund they have in hand is roughly a million to stretch over the necessary works. – CS