The Mother Cabrini Shrine is probably weeks away from breaking ground on its $4 million chapel expansion project.
On Aug. 2, the Board of County Commissioners approved a special use on the property, which is zoned Agricultural-2, to allow religious assemblage. This will ultimately allow the property, which is located along U.S. 40 southwest of Golden, to submit building permit applications to build a 2,230-square-foot addition to its chapel.
Jeff Lewis, the shrine’s executive director, said the 52-year-old chapel will be renovated and expanded. Along with an elevator and additional bathrooms, crews will also be building a partitioned conference room that can also be used for sanctuary seating.
Additionally, the front entryway’s landscaping will be updated.
Lewis said, if the shrine gets its building permits from the county by the end of August, it could start construction after Labor Day. The hope is to have construction completed by May.
“We want to get the foundations poured before the cold weather hits,” Lewis continued.
During construction, he said, the chapel will still be open for use through the rest of 2022. However, it will be closed for the first three or four months of 2023, and services will move into the cafeteria.
Lewis commented how the first quarter of the year is always the shrine’s slowest time, with Easter being the big exception. Services will likely have to be in the cafeteria this year, depending on construction timing.
This is the second phase in a two-phase renovation project on the shrine campus. Lewis said it already completed its gift shop alterations last year.
The county commissioners unanimously approved the special use on the property, after staff and the planning commission recommended approval. While the property is zoned agricultural, its current religious use predates zoning. However, any expansion wouldn’t be allowed under the current zoning without approval of special use.