College Station Church Planning Major Expansion Project

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COLLEGE STATION St. Mary's Chapel near Texas A&M University was built in the late 1920's.

More than 80 years later, church leaders say it's time to break ground again.

"The University is growing, so our student population is growing here at St. Mary's as well," said Father David Konderla, Director of Campus Ministry and Pastor. "We can easily attract 1,300 to 1,500 for mass, and our church back here seats 850 people."

That's why the Church is planning to expand.

In place of the parking lots and apartment complexes currently surrounding the church, the project would add a total of seven new buildings to the property, including a massive new church.

"If you're going to build a big new church, you're going to have to build a big new parking garage. Someplace for people to park," said Father Konderla.

Church leaders say a one thousand space parking lot will be the first order of business when the project breaks ground.

"Part of what's exciting about the project is what it's able to do for the neighborhood," said Konderla.

Konderla says he expects the church grounds to be more than a quiet place for people to pray and reflect; it will be a destination in the B/CS community.

St. Mary's Church started planning this expansion two years ago. Church leaders say it could be 10 to 15 years before the project is complete.