Big plans are underway for The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, located at the corner of Alhambra and F Street. New facilities, such as a courtyard, education and administration buildings, will replace their aging counterparts. New parking areas will increase parking capacity and a new access drive will improve circulation, on and off site.
After more than 20 years of considering various options to build new facilities at other locations, the parish has committed to renew and invest for the future at its present campus.
To the church community, this renewal represents a like for like replacement of facilities centered on a new campus heart – the Kardia.
Here’s a bit of an overview
-The existing church will remain. It has a seating capacity of up to 450 people and is 7,380 square feet.
-The Kendron, or multipurpose center (social, cultural, recreational), provides meeting and recreational space as well as a small religious bookstore. Banquet seating capacity is 450. It’s a total of 22,500 square feet, with 17,000 square feet at the ground level and a 5,500-square-foot mezzanine.
-The education and administrative building provides administrative and education space necessary for operations and ministry functions. The administration wing includes offices for the secretary, priests, and parochial assistants (youth, visiting clergy), a library and meeting rooms. The education wing will support the parish’s daycare/preschool as well as its Sunday schools, youth programs and other various ministries that serve the community at large. This building will have two floors, totaling 16,800 square feet.
A project in phases
The project will be phased. Phasing depends upon the success of fundraising. It is envisioned that the Kendron can be initially developed, along with the Kardia and a portion of the parking lot. Under this scenario, the Parish will continue to operate out of the existing Kendron until the new Kendron completed and ready for occupancy. The next phase of the Master Plan would include adding the Education/Administration Building, its adjacent outside play area, the remaining parking lot, the access drive and balance of the Kardia enhancements.
A Proud Foundation
For more than 90 years, Greek Orthodox Christians have been served culturally and spiritually at facilities located at 600 Alhambra, just across from McKinley Park in East Sacramento. Initially the existing Church was constructed in 1952 by a proud group of energetic and patriotic Greek Americans eager to lay the foundation their children’s future and the generations that would follow. As time went on, the community grew to become an integral part of the Sacramento Metropolitan region and subsequent generations acquired much of the block bounded by F and G streets (to the north and south) and Alhambra Boulevard and 30th Street (to the east and west).
Additional facilities such as the education/administration building and Kendron (Social Hall) were constructed over the years and have come to comprise the Annunciation’s parish campus, which continues to serve Orthodox Christians of many backgrounds and ethnicities.
Changing needs and growth
Over the years the community’s needs have changed significantly from those of a few immigrant families from Greece. The Annunciation Parish has become a thriving community of over five hundred supporting families with sister parishes in Elk Grove and Roseville. To better meet present and future needs, the Annunciation Parish has developed a Campus Master Plan that will replace its aging facilities and create a new parish identity. In the same manner that earlier generations laid the foundation that enabled the community to grow, the new Campus Master Plan represents the Annunciation’s commitment to future generations, and reflects the Parish’s role as an integral and dynamic community of Sacramento.
A new parish campus vision and master plan
Over the past 20 years the parish has entertained other options to relocate its campus away from the current site, but none came to fruition due to conditions that were beyond the Annunciation’s control. In June 2010 the parish decided that there was no better place than its present campus upon which to rebuild and renew the spiritual, cultural, and civic connections make up the very fabric of the Annunciation Community. From this commitment a new Campus Master Plan – to be initiated in phases as resources allow – will enrich and enhance these very connections over the coming years.
The proposed Campus Master Plan is centered and organized around the Kardia (Greek for heart), a multi-function outdoor courtyard where the Annunciation will gather for cultural, religious, social, and community events.
It will front along Alhambra Boulevard and is situated between the existing Church and a new Kendron, which will replace the existing Kendron. The Kardia will be paved and landscaped with shrubs, lawns and trees which will provide the shade, atmosphere and ambiance to transform the Kardia into a space that enhances the community and serves as the “Heart of the Campus”.
Further, the Kardia is envisioned to act as a complementary visual extension of McKinley Park (across Alhambra Boulevard) through cool and restful shade found in its arcades and cloisters. As noted above, the Parish’s existing Church – which fronts on Alhambra across from McKinley Park – will remain, on the north side of the Kardia.
Disclosure: Editor Monica Stark’s husband works for the architecture firm, Comstock Johnson, which is heading up the plans.