Downtown church gets permission to expand

Medford, Ore. — St. Mark’s Episcopal Church wants to expand its Medford building in order to accommodate a growing congregation.

But because the church is historic, city staff recommended the commission deny the church’s request.

Tuesday night, the proposal was up for a vote.

The motion to allow for expansion of the church passed by one vote.

The city of Medford was concerned about making significant changes to the historic building, but most of the commission agreed the church will be able to  accommodate staff recommendations.

St. Marks is looking to develop a new social hall, kitchen, classrooms, office space, elevator and a room for its food pantry.

“They’re important because they allow us to do the work we’re already doing, and expand our ministry as well,” Reverend Tom Sramek Jr. said.

The church has raised one million of its 1.74 million dollars for renovations.

Construction is planned to start July 1st so it can be finished by St. Mark’s 130th anniversary next year.

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