SINGAPORE – Completion of the new Church of Divine Mercy at Pasir Ris has been delayed to the later half of this year. It was originally scheduled for completion in December 2008.
Project manager Thomas Lee explained that the main obstacle the company faced that led to the delay, and which it continues to face, is the restricted plot of land – only 3,000 square metres.
“There is a lack of working space at the site and so the construction is going on at a slow pace,” he said.
“The entire site is divided into three areas,” he elaborated. “We use one area to place our materials and equipment. After we have built each part, we move the equipment and materials over. This has to be done for all levels and it slows the construction work tremendously.”
The construction of the two basement carparks and the ground floor of the main church have been completed. Work is currently being done on the second floor gallery. The entire superstructure is expected to be completed in the next four months. This will be followed by the architectural finishing which may take three to four months.
The reaction was one of disappointment when Father Johnson Fernandez announced the delay and the reasons for the delay at a neighbourhood meeting.
“I was hoping that the church would be completed by the feast of the Divine Mercy,” said Maria Wee, a resident of Pasir Ris. “But I suppose we have to just wait and pray that there would be no more delay.”
Plans are now being made to bring the community together for weekend Masses in the hall of Hai Sing Catholic School at Pasir Ris Avenue 4.
More fundraising projects are being planned this year to meet the projected target of $12 million. “The building fund is still short of $2 million,” said Father Johnson Fernandez.
Recently, the Pasir Ris neighbourhood group raised some money and threw a special party on the sixth day of the Lunar New Year for the 65 workers at the construction site. They were each given a gift bag and a red packet. n