Local church hoping to expand starting July

Medford, Ore.- The St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is looking to expand its building for various renovation projects.

The church is looking to develop a new social hall, kitchen, classrooms, office space, elevator, and a room for their food pantry.

Currently, the church is moving their supplies back-and-forth from the Hafer House next door, but would like to have everything under one roof. That’s why the church is working with the city’s planning department to come up with a design that would best fit its growing needs.

‘We are wanting to be a service to the community and so this is really structured as a community project,” Reverend Tom Sramek with St. Mark’s said.

The city says they are for the project, but want to make sure the plans are acceptable for the Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission.

“The church is historic, it’s been a historic landmark for a long time so we want to make sure that part of Medford’s heritage is preserved, at the same time we understand that times change, and in the case of a church, congregations grow and needs change,” Matt Brinkley, planning director for the city of Medford said.

The church has raised $1 million of its $1.74 million for renovations. It’s also in the process of selling the Hafer House, which will go towards the project.

A public hearing will be held on April 10, where the Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission is expected make a decision on whether or not the application will move forward.

The church is hoping to start construction by July.

NBC5 News reporter Karen Tang graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in communications and a master’s in journalism.

Before coming to Medford, Karen was an intern at WUSA9 and NBC News Channel in Washington D.C.

During her time in Maryland, Karen was an NCAA Division I student-athlete on the Maryland gymnastics team. She competed against Big Ten universities and made the Big Ten All-Championship team.

When Karen isn’t reporting, she’s at the gym working out, taking pictures with her dog Boomer and searching for the best food in Southern Oregon.

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