A brand new look

St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church of Minot is undergoing a facelift. Work on the exterior of the church was nearing completion earlier this week. St. Michael’s is located at 812 N. Main St.

A crew from Arneson Construction of Minot was using a tall scaffold this week to install permanent steel siding on the lower portion of the church. A lift truck was scheduled to be brought in so workers could finish siding upper sections of the building.

The church’s old siding had to be removed before new siding could be put in place. Workers discovered the church was never insulated, adding to the project. Additionally, some of the aging boards underneath the original siding had to be replaced.

“Nope. Not a bit of insulation. We had to insulate the whole thing,” said Terry Arneson, contractor. “That’s not really a surprise in an older building.”

The steep, sloped roof of St. Michael’s received new shingles as part of the renovation. The basement, which was damaged by sewer back-up during the 2011 flood, was the first target for renovation.

“They tore the whole inside of the basement out. It turned out good,” said church member Dorothy Ryan.

“We even put in a new stairwell,” added Arneson.

The old staircase had very shallow steps and parishioners had to lower their heads to avoid hitting the ceiling above the staircase. The new stairway has ample clearance and deeper stairs, making it much more friendly to traverse than the old one.

A doorway leading to the basement at the back of the church also required repair. A new door was put in place and the covered entryway improved with new shingles and siding.

Inside the basement, one of the concrete walls supporting the church was showing signs of stress that threatened the integrity of the structure.

“We dug out the back wall and replaced the entire wall,” said Arneson.

The task involved jacking up the church so that the old supporting concrete wall could be removed and the new one put in its place. The gray foundation visible around the entire perimeter of the church is set to get a new look. According to Arneson, artificial rock will be used on the foundation to accent the new siding.

According to a church member, Father George Pruys started St. Michaels as an extension of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Wilton. Initially worship services were held in available space at Trinity Hospital. Father Pruys still serves both churches today.

St. Michael’s in Minot was aquired in 1980. It is known that the building had previously housed the Messiah Lutheran Church. Today the church has about 50

active members.

The sign to be placed above the door of the church reads, “St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church.” While the main sign on the lawn makes no reference to Ukrainian, the church continues today as a Ukrainian rite sect of the Catholic Church. The mother parish in Wilton is an Eastern rite church.

Now, as renovation nears completion, the quaint church boasts new shingles, modern insulation and steel siding. A cross soon to be placed at the top of the church will signify it is ready to serve the region well into the future.