Construction On Church Destroyed In 9/11 Screeches To Halt Over Skyrocketing Costs

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

Construction companies have temporarily halted work rebuilding a New York church destroyed in the September 11 attacks because of skyrocketing costs and a lack of funds.

Architect Santiago Calatrava was to complete The St. Nicholas National Shrine by 2018 to replace a small Greek Orthodox church destroyed by the collapse of the south tower of the World Trade center on 9/11.  Costs for the project jumped, however, from $50 million to a maximum of $78 million as of December, forcing a temporary halt in construction until the necessary funds are gathered, according to The New York Times.

“The Archdiocese is confidently hopeful that construction will recommence in the very near future and has been assured by Skanska —the construction company responsible for building the church— that they are looking forward to the rescinding of this temporary suspension to continue working together in cooperation with the Archdiocese for the completion of the building project,” a statement from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America said.

The archdiocese reported major financial deficits in the Fall, according to the Associated Press. Skanska worked with the archdiocese to find viable alternatives to halting construction and even extended payment deadlines, but the financial deficits were too great.

The archdiocese also ordered an investigation in November into why costs for the project have risen so much so quickly. The investigation is ongoing, according to TheNYT.

The Greek government is providing funding for the new national shrine as are members of the Greek Orthodox church around the world. The Italian city of Bari, whose patron saint is St. Nicholas, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston are also contributing. Skanska USA Executive Vice President Tom Webb said Tuesday that he is confident the project will be fully funded in the future and that construction will resume, according to AP.

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