Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist starts renovation project

By Sarah Winkelmann| April 14, 2021 at 4:08 PM EDT – Updated April 14 at 5:44 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – An iconic symbol in downtown Savannah is about to get some updates to its current space.

On Wednesday, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah blessed the start of the renovation project at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The $4.5 million project will convert the church’s undercroft, what’s essentially the church’s basement, into a parish hall.

Once the project is complete, the space will include a reception hall with seating for 600 people, an expanded chapel, a catering kitchen and new vesting cabinets. The new downstairs will match the beauty of the cathedral with vaulted ceilings, decorated columns and a marble floor.

“I think it is going to be a space that people will be proud of and happy to go into,” said Rev. Gerry Schreck, the rector of the Cathedral. “Though it is the undercroft of the cathedral, it’s going to be an uplifting type of experience for people.”

The demolition work is already finished but now the renovation project will begin. The church expects the project should be complete in 12 months.

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