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Construction halted at World Trade Center church

by Kiley Crossland
Posted 12/27/17, 10:30 am

A construction company has halted work on a New York City church designed as a replacement for one destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Swedish-based Skanska USA cited soaring costs and financial shortfalls for the decision. St. Nicholas National Shrine sits next to the World Trade Center memorial plaza and was to replace a small Greek Orthodox church crushed when the South Tower of the World Trade Center fell during the 9/11 attack. Officials at Skanska said on Tuesday it had extended payment deadlines and discussed alternatives with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to keep the project going, but ultimately decided that stopping construction “was the only viable option.” The estimated cost of the project—which is being privately funded by the Greek government, Greek Orthodox church members, and others—jumped from $50 million in September to an estimated $72 million to $78 million in December. Earlier this month, the archdiocese said it hired two firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers and BakerHostetler, to perform an independent investigation into the construction. Last fall, the archdiocese reported it was suffering from a “severe and complex” financial deficit. Skanska said it is confident the archdiocese will find the funding to complete the work. The church is intended to be a place of respite and reflection for visitors to the 9/11 memorial site.

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Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.

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    Posted: Wed, 12/27/2017 01:24 pm

    Wait a minute - they can't build a church for 50  million dollars? Maybe I'm missing something here. 

  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Wed, 12/27/2017 01:52 pm

    It does seem odd.  Of course, it is in New York City, right next to the old Twin Towers site.  But the price is still a jaw-dropper, even before the increase.

  • wmrench
    Posted: Wed, 12/27/2017 03:48 pm

    So far it just looks like a couple of miniature grain silos with a jack-in-the-box stuck between them.  I don't think they got their 78 million dollars worth! 

  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Thu, 12/28/2017 01:42 pm

    They did not even get $50 million worth.