In 2001, the 15th Sobor approved the development of the Historical and Educational Complex of our Church which includes the Patriarch Mstyslav Museum. It has taken a very long time to become a reality. After much planning, adjustments, obtaining approvals from township officials, and overcoming other challenges, the time to commence construction has finally arrived.
Since the ground breaking in the summer of 2007, from the windows of the Consistory offices we have seen endless numbers of dump trucks hauling in and hauling out the fill needed to satisfy the township codes. Then came the compactors and tampers that made the walls of the consistory shake. Then we heard the ceaseless sounds of table saws as wood was cut to make the forms and molds for the cement footings and foundation walls. Along with that was the sound of water gushing though the consistory pipes as the contractors accidently cut a water line, and left the building without water pressure. Then the cement trucks turned their mixers as they poured their contents into the prepared forms.
Finally, on Monday, January 19, 2009, at 7am, the first of eleven trucks, each loaded with 12 to 15 tons of steel, pulled into the Cultural Center parking lot at 135 Davidson Ave. The following day, an additional four trucks arrived. By Tuesday afternoon, steel beams and gerters were arranged in neat piles around the nearly two acre fenced in construction site.
The costs expended to date exceed $1.6 million. This figure includes all the planning and architectural and engineering work, site preparation including foundations and footings, and structural steel. We have been blessed to be the recipients of generous bequests for the museum from individuals such as Mykhailo Werbiany, Sviatoslav Kybaliuk, John Kozel, Marie Krotiuk, George Chaplenko and others, as well as many donations from individuals, churches and organizations, among them Self Reliance NY Federal Credit Union, the Ukrainian Orthodox League, St. Mary Protectress Sisterhood in S. Bound Brook, the Ukrainian Information Bureau, the Virginia Farrah Foundation and many others. The United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods of the UOC of the USA made fundraising for the museum construction project its priority, and has to date, raised over $350,000 towards that end.
As soon as the structure is up, which will be in the next several months, we will be faced with another huge challenge.
We will need to raise an additional $2,500,000 to complete and furnish the museum. We are faced with many challenges in today’s world, but with God’s blessings, we can do this. It’s an exciting time, a time of change. The museum is an integral part of our complex as it will preserve our past and educate future generations. If you would like more information on becoming a supporter, founder or benefactor of the Museum, please contact Dr. Stephen Sivulich, Development Officer at (412) 276-1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.