Kids from OLPH’s Religious Education program help gather dirt to be used in planters once the parking lot is finished. All photos by Josh Premako/Mellady Direct Marketing.
Church and construction officials hoisted ceremonial golden shovels and broke ground Monday on the next chapter of improvements to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Newhall.
Arriving at the current church parking lot in three classic cars – brought by local auto enthusiasts Dick Lagrasta, Dwight Emerson, Mike Morrison and Scott Harrison – Monsignor Richard Martini, Father Raymond Marquez and Father Fidelis Omeaku led prayers with an assembly of more than 100 students from the church’s Religious Education program. They were joined by Albert M. Giacomazzi, president of AMG & Associates, Inc., Father Donatus Ekanachi and parish intern Simeon Song.
“It’s appropriate to have these classic cars here today, because the parishioners at OLPH have been waiting a long time for much-needed extra parking,” Monsignor Martini said. Leading the students in a prayer, he said, “We don’t do this alone; we do it with God’s help.”
Monsignor Richard Martini behind the wheel of Scott Isaacson’s 1930s Ford Woody wagon.
After prayers and remarks from Monsignor Martini and Giacomazzi, the group crossed the parking lot to break ground on the project site. Several dusty acres marked by rustic oak trees and several aging, soon-to-be-razed houses, the site will be transformed into a 164-space parking lot over the coming months.
“This is a huge step forward for the church, and I’m thrilled we can be a part of that,” Giacomazzi said. “The new parking lot will help alleviate crucial traffic and parking concerns, and move the church one step closer toward constructing a larger building to better serve its parishioners.”
Fr. Donatus Ekanachi, Fr. Fidelis Omeaku, Albert Giacomazzi of AMG &
Associates Inc., Mgr. Richard Martini, Fr. Raymond Marquez and parish intern Simeon Song hoist shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking.
Entailing earthwork, landscaping and installation of underground utilities, storm drains and irrigation systems, the construction is scheduled to be completed by March 1, in time for Easter. This project represents the next phase in the church’s expansion. Completion of the lot will also create the footprint for a new, main church building that, with space for seating 1,200, will be double the occupancy of the existing church building. Giacomazzi said the oak trees will be protected as part of the construction. After the groundbreaking, OLPH students took turns using garden shovels to fill five-gallon jugs with dirt from the project site, to be used in planters once the parking lot is finished.
This is AMG’s second project for OLPH, the first being the pastoral center that is located at the corner of Arcadia Street and Lyons Avenue.
About AMG & Associates Inc.
AMG President Albert Giacomazzi at the lectern.
AMG is a general contractor based in Santa Clarita, CA. The company has expertise in all aspects of construction, from conceptual design, estimating and job site management to occupancy. AMG is also an accredited LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) contractor. To learn more about AMG, please visit www.amgassociates.com.