The renovation that has been taking place at St. Giles' Anglican Church in Estevan is virtually finished, and there have been numerous upgrades for the building.
A new, modern front entrance has been constructed. Glass doors are at the entrance to the building. The spacious foyer inside allows people to gather, said St. Giles' Rev. Mark Osborne.
Red brick was used on the exterior of the entire addition, allowing it to match the existing church building.
"At one point, when we looked at the prices of the bricks, we thought 'No way (would it happen),' because we didn't think we could do the whole thing in bricks," said Osborne. They were going to use stucco for the less-visible part of the addition, but a donor came forward to ensure brick would be used on the entire exterior.
The church is now much more accessible for parishioners who are in wheelchairs or who have other mobility issues. A lift on the main floor can take people up to the sanctuary.
A lack of wheelchair access was one of the issues that precipitated the renovation, Osborne said.
Washrooms are now on the ground floor, as opposed to the basement level. They're bigger and brighter, too, Osborne said.
The renovation also included new offices adjacent to the sanctuary as opposed to in the basement; the addition of four stained glass windows from the closed Anglican church in Bienfait; a larger, brighter and more convenient kitchen; and an unplanned stone pile in front of the church that has enhanced the appearance of the building's exterior.
A few touch-ups remain, but the bulk of the work is finished, he said.
Osborne says that most people handled the renovations well. And the church's members are happy now that the project is finished.
"The fowl supper (in September) was the first big public gathering in the building," said Osborne.
The renovation and expansion did take longer than expected, as it stretched out for about a year, and there were cost overruns. But most of the expansion and renovation is paid for, and that's good news, Osborne said.
"It was paid for as we went, which typically doesn't happen with renovations," said Osborne.
He hopes that the church will have a grand reopening celebration to commemorate the completion of the project, but it might not happen until the spring.