May 04, 2020 by: Ben Heimsath

The groundbreaking ceremony is a wonderful tradition that marks a critical moment in the life of a project. After many months of planning and preparation communities celebrate the moment when they actually start “moving dirt,” as the saying goes. Today, St. James’ Episcopal Church, La Grange, Texas celebrated with a unique ceremony - a virtual groundbreaking.

Welcome Virtual Groundbreaking St James

At the appointed time, Fr. Eric Hungerford, Rector at St. James’ initiated the Facebook livestream and welcomed all to celebrate beginning construction of the Preschool, Parish Hall, and Office Space renovations and expansion. The building committee, chaired by Mel Glascock was socially distanced behind him. Doug Gaeke of Gaeke Construction was in attendance. The rest of the congregation participated remotely.

Fr. Eric expressed his thanks for all who made this event possible for both planning and fundraising. He asked Mel Glasscock to say a few words. The rest of the ceremony followed the usual prayers for a groundbreaking, with responses from the building committee filling in for those connected virtually.

Raising a gold shovel, Fr. Eric made a ceremonial dig into the ground. Technical difficulties cut off the ceremony at that point.  I felt event was still a big success. The entire community came together, even with spatial limitations, to acknowledge this important occasion.

Heimsath Architects has worked with the congregation beginning with master planning for an overall vision for the facilities.  Even though we weren't able to see all the shoveling, I did get to add a hearty “Congratulations!” in the comments window from Heimsath Architects!

A recording of the ceremony is posted on the St. James' Facebook Page:


Church Renovations & Additions/ Preservation / Adaptive Reuse/ Church Architecture