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Stonington - St. Michael the Archangel Church in Pawcatuck has purchased a home at 68 Liberty St. next to the church for $185,000.
The church purchased the three-family home on one-tenth of an acre from Irene C. Allen on Dec. 23, 2013, according to town land records. The house was appraised by the town for $189,500 in the recent revaluation.
The Rev. Dennis Perkins, pastor of St. Michael and St. Mary churches, said the property will give the parish more room as it continues with its effort to design and build a new church to replace the one that was closed in 2012 because of structural issues.
In September, the church paid $130,000 to buy an adjacent home on two-tenths of an acre at 56 Liberty St., which Perkins said will give the church more flexibility as it plans the project. The church also owns homes at 64 and 70 Liberty St. and 55 Morgan St.
Perkins said the church building committee is currently working with Donham & Sweeney Architects of Boston to reduce the projected $12 million cost of the new church. He said the committee will present new options and costs to parishioners in the next few months.
A preliminary plan unveiled last June called for a larger church that would retain much of the character and feel of the current building. Parishioner meetings were held at the tim,e and their comments are being used to help refine the design.
The initial design called for a 20,500-square-foot church that would seat 500 people compared to the current 13,000-square-foot building that seats 425 to 475. The church would also have wider aisles, full handicapped access, more efficient radiant heat and a parish hall on the lower level that would accommodate 176 people with a large kitchen and offices. It was designed to accommodate future needs and be energy efficient.
Perkins said Thursday that the largest part of the project, though, will be the fundraising.