Ground broken for new social hall

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Members of the St. Francis & St. Gabriel Hall Building Committee prepare to break ground for a new social hall. From left:  Dan Artzner, Bob Peshek, Fr. Victor Cinson, Bishop Jeffery Monforton, Jason Fescemyer, Tom Furey, Vince Palleschi and Paul Robertson. Members not present: Bill Wolfe, Ken Smith and Ron Deeter.
Members of the St. Francis & St. Gabriel Hall Building Committee prepare to break ground for a new social hall. From left:  Dan Artzner, Bob Peshek, Fr. Victor Cinson, Bishop Jeffery Monforton, Jason Fescemyer, Tom Furey, Vince Palleschi and Paul Robertson. Members not present: Bill Wolfe, Ken Smith and Ron Deeter.

MALVERN – St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Malvern and St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Minerva welcomed their members and the community to a public groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 4 at the site of a new $1.4 million social hall that will be owned by the two churches.

Bishop Jeffery Monforton of the Dioceses of Steubenville was celebrant of the ceremony, assisted by Fr. Victor Cinson, pastor of St. Francis and St. Gabriel parishes. Both thanked those who have thus far contributed more than $800,000 for the new 8,300 square foot hall that will seat 350 people.

“Our new hall will replace the 70-year-old St. Francis Xavier hall that has been a gathering place for thousands of parish and community events,” said Fr. Cinson. “Unfortunately, St. Francis hall could no longer be repaired. Further, the existing hall at St. Gabriel is too small for many functions and there is no room to expand it. This new facility will give both parishes ample space for educational programs, outreach services to help those in need, parish social gatherings and the fund raising events needed to keep our parishes strong and vibrant.”

He said the hall will be available to rent for weddings, reunions, business meetings, expositions, award reception dinners, educational programs, job fairs and other similar events.

“We also plan to make it available at a reduced rate to nonprofit groups who want to raise funds and provide programs and services that benefit our community,” said Fr. Cinson.

The facility will have a fully-equipped kitchen, handicapped accessible restrooms, state-of-the-art audio visual system and a wireless network to allow those using the facility to access smart phones, tablets and other computing needs.

Amy Rutledge, director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, said the new hall will be a wonderful addition to the county.

“There is no other meeting place in our county with adequate parking that can seat 350 guests. It will allow us to attract more business and professional conferences to Carroll County.”

The hall is expected to be ready for use in the spring of 2019.