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Huntley church looks to expand

St. Mary Catholic Church is proposing a $7 expansion project that would include a new parish hall, small chapel, meetings room and a full service kitchen. (Lawerence Synett/Tribune)

St. Mary Catholic Church is proposing a $7 expansion project that would include a new parish hall, small chapel, meetings room and a full service kitchen. (Lawerence Synett/Tribune)

A Huntley church is in the planning stages of a $7 million expansion project aimed at meeting the growing needs of the population it serves.

St. Mary Catholic Church hopes to build a 32,567-square-foot addition to its existing facility on Dundee Road. The plan would include a 600-person parish hall, a small chapel, 10 meetings rooms, office space for staff and a full service kitchen.

“It’s a fast growing area out here,” Monsignor Steve Knox said. “The main purpose of this is to have ministry space to fulfill our mission.”

The project is expected to cost $7 million, with church officials looking to parishioners to fund $5 million toward the addition. The remaining money will come the church’s building fund.

Thus far, churchgoers have pledged more than $2 million toward the project, according to the church website.

“I think we are doing fairly well,” Knox said. “It’s a tough economy, and parishioners have been very generous thus far.”

The current facility at 10397 Dundee Road was built in 2001 and cost $11 million. The building houses nine full-time employees and 10 part-timers.

The church used a building on Woodstock Street from 1932 until 2001, and served around 200 households. That number has grown to include more than 5,000 households, which includes 1,300 students in kindergarten through seventh grade who attend religious education programs at Marlowe Middle School.

Using the Huntley middle school costs the parish $50,000 a year.

“We lack space,” said Knox, pastor at the church since 2004. “This will allow us to bring everything under one roof.”

The Huntley Village Board discussed the proposal earlier this month before referring it to the planning and zoning commission for further review. Church officials are proposing 532 parking spaces as a part of the project, 163 fewer than the village requires.

“We are just starting the process,” Knox said. “We will see how things develop.”

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