Construction to resume on new St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church

Construction stopped earlier this year when the builder hired by the church when out of business. But new subcontractors may resume work in late January. The construction of the new St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church at 18870 Allendale Avenue hit a snag early this year when the builder the church hired went out of business. Since then all work has been halted on the large structure located on busy Allendale.

But the good news is that the church is fully funded to complete the outside of the structure and is moving forward with other subcontractors who plan to resume construction in late January.

The 3,994 square foot Church building on the approximate 3.1 acre lot will be “outstanding,” according to Church Board Member Mary Bogdanovich. “We’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll get the outside completed first and then start focusing on raising funds for the construction of the inside of the Church.”

The new building faced some opposition a few years ago from nearby neighbors who were concerned about traffic, noise and the location of the Church so close to the street. Many of these issues were addressed in city council and planning meetings and now the majority of neighbors seem to be excited to see the finished product.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the church when it’s finished,” said Laszlo Sipos who lives directly across the street from the Church. “Anyone who complains about the church should remember there are a lot more important things to worry about in our world.”

Bogdanovich explained why the church was built so close to the street, “Something this beautiful should not be hidden. Saratoga needs landmarks and this will be an amazing landmark building.”

Another reason is that eventually the Church plans to build an elementary school on the site, which was donated to the church in 1960. “It’s in our name and eventually we would like to offer a school on this site. It is big enough and this property is a jewel. We currently have about 80 children who attend our Sunday School but we would like to double that number.”

Father Slobodan Jovic praised the city and particularly former Councilmember Chuck Page for their support of the project. “They were just so helpful and supportive and really wonderful to work with,” said Jovic.

The original Orthodox Byzantine style architecture was modified to incorporate a California Mission feel to reflect other homes in the neighborhood. Also, the architect, Paul Bunton of BC/A Architects surveyed the neighborhood and chose a color scheme that would fit in with houses in the neighborhood.

So, when do church authorities expect the church construction to be completely finished? “It’s in God’s time,” said Bogdanovich with a smile. “But we have an amazing architect and once it is built it will last for centuries.”