Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church is a vibrant, growing Parish of over 200 families. Our growth requires us to expand to meet the needs of the people God sends us now and into the future, hence the decision to expand. The current Building Expansion Project was started in 2018. It includes plans for new classrooms, a larger Banquet Hall and kitchen, administrative offices, additional parking, and many other renovations and additions.
Expansion plans have been designed to accommodate these needs:
- Our New Mount Tabor will have 12 classrooms and meeting rooms to ensure the religious education of our children—our future—and adults.
- Our new Banquet Hall in the community center will be 4,200 sq. ft. and will accommodate 280-300 people. Our current Banquet Hall is 2,600 sq. ft. and can accommodate 175 people. With the new hall, we can host events such as the Church Gala, baptisms, wedding receptions, gatherings, large and small meetings and other celebrations. There is also the possibility for parochial schools, and other organizations, to use the classrooms.
- Our new 620 sq. ft. Parish kitchen with pantry/prep/cook/clean-up will meet commercial kitchen standards and requirements. Our current kitchen is 245 sq. ft. and is inadequate to meet Parish needs.
- The need for parking has expanded as our Church has grown. We currently have 87 marked parking spaces. We appreciate that we are being allowed to park on average 30 vehicles on the military base for every Sunday and for our Special Event Services. After our New Mount Tabor Hall is completed, our plan includes replacing the current Mt. Tabor Hall with 55 striped surface parking spaces.
- The New Parish Hall will provide new administrative facilities for Clergy, Parish ministries, the bookstore, meeting rooms, and storage.
- Long term, we will maximize property space utilization to support future decades for our Parish with a Recreation Center and Parking Structure while expanding Orthodoxy in Austin.
Through Parish Community Center Town Hall meetings dialogue covered the new Parish Community Center. Issues such as the conceptual architectural plans, cost estimates, project financials and fundraising and pledge program were discussed. In addition, Parishioner groups volunteered input on finances, Orthodoxy, Byzantine design, interior design, Sunday School, the commercial kitchen, acoustics and lighting.
Fundraising has had a strong start. Here are the figures as of October 23, 2022:
TGOC Building Expansion Pledge Goal $3,500,000
Total Committed 2,905,287
Total Pledges Collected 2,450,190
Donations Collected 85,580
Collected % of Goal 72%
These figures have permitted us to start construction in order to get half of it operational (offices, classrooms, restrooms, bookstore, meeting rooms and café) and “shelling” the Banquet Hall. With an additional $450,000, we will be able to finish out the Banquet Hall. An additional $400,000 will enable us to replace Mount Tabor Hall with a striped parking lot, an upgrade to the septic system and additional landscaping.
The rapidity with which pledges have come in to support the expansion shows the dedication and love of this congregation for its beloved Church. With more and more converts coming to Orthodoxy every day and the beauty of a full church every Sunday of parishioners clamoring to experience the spirituality of our clergy, the future is bright, indeed, for Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church.
With all the plans, blueprints and schematics that will bring us our new building, we should, however, always remember the words of Father Nick under that proverbial tree during our first liturgy on Mount Tabor: “Never forget that a church is not the brick and mortar of a building; it is the people who make up the church.” May we always remember these wise words as we humbly go forward to spread God’s Word.