Archbishop John Wong (seated 2nd from left) is seen on his left with Fr Fundes Motiung, Datuk Stephen Sondoh, and architect Dr Tan Jun Kwang who attended the meeting on Nov 15 at his office in Penampang. Seated at far left is Datuk Joseph Leong, chairman of SOCCOM and standing behind them are members of the technical committee who were present.
PENAMPANG: The Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu said that the building project for the new St Catherine Laboure church at Kg Dimbaan, Putatan, has made good progress, although at a slow pace dictated by the availability of funds.
“We are pleased to announce that 65 per cent of construction works on the four-storey structure is now complete and we are satisfied with the progress made so far,” the Archdiocese said in a statement released on 17 Nov 2016 by its Social Communications Commission (Soccom) here.
Commenting on recent media reports which among other things stated that “construction works had ceased for some time,” a spokesman of Soccom said that this was not the case.
“On the contrary, steady progress has been made on the project in the past five months. It is also not true to say that no brick walls were found at the site.
“In fact, brick walls at the ground level and the staircase areas were built in July and plastering of the walls took place later,” he added.
He reported that further progress was made in September and October resulting in the erection of the metal roof trusses and construction of the high entrance structures.
On funding, the Soccom spokesman said that the entire project is expected to cost RM7.3 million. Out of RM4.7 million raised, a sum of RM3.3 million was spent on expenditures up to 31 Aug 2016.
He said the balance of RM1.4 million is now being utilised for the current construction works including building of the roof structure and the tall and grand entrance and bell tower.
“We wish to assure that all government financial allocations are utilised according to established financial mangement procedures. And all expenditures are verified by a technical committee and are closely monitored by the office of the Archdiocese,” the spokesman said.
He said that the last such meetings to monitor development progress and financial matters arising from the implementation of the project was held on Tuesday (Nov 15) in the presence of Archbishop John Wong.
Also present were Fr Fundes Motiung, Rector of St Michael’s Church, Penampang, who initiated the project; Datuk Stephen Sondoh, Chairman of the Steering Church Building Committee; and members of the technical committee.
Work in progress at the new St Catherine Laboure church at Kg Dimbaan, Putatan.
Datuk Stephen took note of the fact that there is a shortfall of about RM2.6 million in order to meet the costs for the completion of the project.
“Raising funds has always been difficult and slow. Other churches are unable to help much since they have financial commitments of their own,” he said.
“Hence, our construction has been slow largely due to the lack of funds from time to time. Our progress is dependant on the flow of donations and the release of funds by the government that came in batches.
“In addition to the construction of the building, there was also a need for building of the road leading to the site,” the building committee chairman explained.
Members of the technical team are professionals from JK Chartered Architect, Perunding Bina Daya Sdn Bhd, Jurutera Perunding Intelex Sdn Bhd, Perunding KK Bina Sdn Bhd, Mojigoh Surveying Consultants Sdn Bhd, and WBS Contractor Sdn Bhd.