By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski

Staff writer

HERMISTON — Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church remodel is right on schedule.

Kay Edwards, parish administrator, says the report she got Thursday from the contractor is that the church should be ready to be occupied by next Easter.

"Our expected goal was Easter of 07," Edwards said. "I think we are going to make it."

The $1.8 million demolition and construction will double the seating capacity of the old church. Before demolition, the seating capacity was 360 parishioners. The new plans call for nearly 800 seats.

The plans show a cross-shape with the old altar area and entrance as the arms of the cross. The former Oasis of Hope Church will house the offices of the priests and a youth center.

The project includes new pews, altar, baptism font and lectern, as well. Seating will oriented to the west rather than the south. The church will also have balcony seating available. A new sound system will be installed. A courtyard will be added to the eastside of the church with a pergola shading the entrance to the parish offices and youth center. The interior will feature a vaulted wood ceiling with arched trusses, wood columns on stone bases, stone flooring in the entry, center aisle and sanctuary platform, carpeted seating areas, and large arched door and window openings.

The parking lot is also receiving a face lift.

Edwards says the parking lot across the street from the church will be resurfaced with asphalt and the entrances will be on 5th and 6th streets rather than on Hermiston Avenue. A fence will separate the lot from Hermiston Avenue to discourage people from crossing in the middle of the street. A new sidewalk and curb will be installed on the east side of the parking lot.

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