WTC Greek Orthodox Church to resume construction in March

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Construction will resume of the Greek Orthodox Church at  the World Trade Centre site destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Greek Orthodox officials announced on Jan. 2.

Work on the project — the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Centre — halted about two years ago because of a lack of funds. The goal will be to complete the work in time for the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack. Spanish architect Santago Calatrava designed the structure, buried in the rubble of the trade center’s south tower.

Skanska USA stopped working on the project in December, 2017, when the archdiocese ran out of money. Cost estimates have escalated from 420 million when the design was announced in 2013 to $80 million, of which $40 million remains to be raised, said the Rev. Alex Karloutsos, vicar general of the archdiocese, The Associated Press reports.

Karloutsos was quoted by AP as saying that archdiocesan officials expect construction to resume by early March.

“This house of worship will serve as a reminder that our collective faith is something we can always count on to move past our painful memories and build a better tomorrow,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“We have a full understanding of the cost and we have a construction manager named,” said Archbishop Elpidophoros, the head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. “We‘re going to be very transparent and accountable.”

Archdiocese officials have acknowledged financial mismanagement during the tenure of the previous archbishop, Demetrios, who recently retired last year at age 91, AP reported.

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