Officials in charge of the repairs of Moncton’s Assomption Cathedral say work is on schedule, but they held a tour for the media Tuesday in an effort to drum up financial support from the public to ensure completion.
“[It’s] to show people what’s going on and what we’re doing with the money and ask people to donate so we can make sure that by 2020, the work that needs to be done will be done,” said Cathedral Foundation president Marie-Linda Lord.
The work that began last year — including water proofing the foundation, bringing in a new entrance for an upgraded power supply — have been done to bring the church up to the national building code. The current contract has to do with the installation of the sprinkler system, fire rated doors and exit corridors.
The structure was built in only 10 months in 1940 and is one of the few examples of art deco architecture in New Brunswick. while renovations are on schedule their have been some minor challenges.
“Some installations of windows for example. As the cathedral was built so quickly, that the detailing around the windows, the way it was framed, is different on one side then the other, but it’s been easy enough accommodate,” said architect Dianne Vandommelen.
The cathedral — a symbol of the Acadian people — was the first one built in Moncton.
Most of the $7 million restoration cost has been raised by community groups, but the foundation is still in need of money.
Lord said they are about $800,000 short.
“We’re not upset about that, right from the start we knew that it’s a marathon,” Lord said.
It’s one of the reasons why the tour was held Tuesday — to spur donations as the cathedral still has projects to complete.
“We have 3 major project still yet to undertake in the cathedral over a two year period: the restoration of the stones, covering the stain glass windows with new windows, and a new roof,” Vandommelen said.
While the church has been closed to parishioners since March, the team is confident it will reopen for Christmas services.