Demolition has begun at Roseville United Brethren Church after a fatal crash caused severe damage to the over 130-year-old building.
A 62-year-old Kitchener woman was pronounced dead, after her SUV left the road and struck the church Friday December 8, 2017.
About a week after the crash, Pastor Randy Magnus found out the church needed to be torn down due to the damage.
The 62-year-old woman had no connection to the church, but shortly the collision, her family members urged people wishing to make a contribution in her name to donate to the Roseville United Brethren Church.
Since the crash, the congregation has been gathering in the basement of a newer part of the same building that was undamaged.
The demolition permit was issued on Friday. Magnus says they salvaged as much as they could from the old building, including stained glass windows that will be installed in the new development.
"It's a relief because we've been waiting a long time," says Magnus. "It's also really exciting to see that we're able to get going on the project finally."
Pastor Randy Magnus stands next to digital renders that show what the new church building will look like. It will cost over a million dollars to make. Construction is set to begin ASAP. @570NEWS pic.twitter.com/lF60Nkgon8— Aastha Shetty (@aastha_shetty) April 14, 2019
Turning a tragic situation into something positive, Magnus says they are using money from their insurance provider to grow. "The congregation decided we wanted to expand our facility and make room for more people to come worship here."
Around 25 parishioners gathered at the church on Saturday to begin the demolition. Once the demolition is complete and construction begins, the church will temporarily move to the Roseville Community Centre.
Magnus tells 570 NEWS the new building is expected to open by February 2020.
While the building on top has been completely destroyed, the Roseville Youth Choir can still practice in the basement of the building, which remains undamaged. This is also where parishioners temporarily gather for mass. @570NEWS pic.twitter.com/QATMh2y5RI— Aastha Shetty (@aastha_shetty) April 14, 2019
These pretty stained glass windows are antiques that were salvaged from the old building. They will be reinstalled as-is in the new building, which may be ready to open up by February 2020. @570NEWS pic.twitter.com/TJt7M5S0Xk— Aastha Shetty (@aastha_shetty) April 14, 2019