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St. Olaf Catholic Church has earned approval from the James City County Board of Supervisors to move forward with design changes to its new house of worship.
Planners originally presented a modern façade that set lower elevations for the Norge church’s building, but a design switch to a traditional façade required a change to the special use permit, which was originally approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2008.
The board unanimously approved an amendment to the special use permit Feb. 9. The Rev. Tom Mattingly, pastor at St. Olaf, called the approval “a validation of the work” the church is doing.
“We have been waiting a long time to get this church built,” Mattingly said. “It means a lot that we’re getting this approval.”
The house of worship is the third and final step of a process that began 20 years ago to construct a complete church complex.
The building is designed to seat more than 900 people and feature artwork and Stations of the Cross. There will also be a 49-seat daily mass chapel, a reconciliation room for small meetings and prayer groups, a choir room, vesting and work sacristies and renovated commons.
Although the church has received all the approvals it needs from the county, Mattingly said final approval is still needed from the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.
The church will also need to select a contractor and finish raising funds for the project, Mattingly said. Groundbreaking is set for April 1, he said.