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Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Church says $70K needed to finish renovations

KEY LARGO -- A Key Largo church says it needs the public's help to open its doors after three years of renovations.

The Key Largo Community Covenant Church is trying to raise $70,000 for interior work in the one-room building. Church director Mary Wynn said, among other things, a walled-bathroom has yet to be built.

"We don't how much it would be until we were into it," she said. "It kept adding up."

To date, the Burlington Street church has replaced a leaky roof and exterior walls. Wynn said the roof deterioration wasn't as bad as the bathroom's overflow, which prompted the renovations.

Renovation of the church has been stagnate for about a year while the church has tried to raise funds.

The congregation hit a dead end when it failed to qualify for historical foundation grant money since the front of the church had been updated.

"We didn't know that or we wouldn't have done it," said Julia Terrell, who has been a member of the church for 11 years.

Depsite the setbacks and without a clear vision on how to raise the money, Wynn still said she hopes to have Easter Sunday services in the renovated church.

"I just have faith it will happen," she said.

Despite not having that historical accreditation, Wynn said the church's historical value is important to the community.

During the 1950s, the church, known then as the Burlington School, was the only schoolhouse for Key Largo's black population. The school, which taught grades 1 through 8, closed in 1963 when its students were integrated into the Coral Shores School. It later became a church serving the area's black community.

"We just need help," Wynn said.

The church's contractor will soon have to renew the construction permit before it expires, Wynn said.

Since the closing, the congregation has met in a community center a few blocks away. Wynn said she doesn't know how much longer they will be allowed to use that facility.

Those interested to assisting the church can contact Wynn at 451-9772.

jgore@keysnews.com

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