As Good As New

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MELVILLE, NY (November 10, 2016) – On October 1st, 2016 the streets of Corona participated in celebrating the completion of a rededication at Our Lady of Sorrows RC Church, almost two years after it was extensively damaged by a devastating fire. Several hundred attendees filled the church to capacity, overflowing to the school auditorium and tents that were set up outside as well, making it clear to see how much this church means to the community it serves. H2M architects + engineers was called upon to lead the rebuilding process, and to take the opportunity to modernize the church for the next century.

Our Lady of Sorrows RC Church, built in 1896, suffered extensive smoke, fire and water damage after an electrical fire engulfed the church’s choir loft, spreading through the attic and across the roof. The fire inflicted severe structural damage to the roof framing system. The local fire department arrived quickly and saved the building. Beyond the roof and structural damage, water and smoke damage were also a significant problem. The entire church needed to be stripped down to its bones, and a new roof had to be installed. The Parish has a very large following, with 13 masses every weekend filled to capacity. In the meantime, to accommodate this outpouring of faith, a large tent was erected for the duration of the project in the school playground. Along with the school auditorium, masses continued on schedule. Father Roden, pastor for the parish, said, “The parish is like a second home for its members.

H2M was tasked with designing the structural repairs, inclusive of stabilizing the front facade, a new slate roof, exterior cleaning, repairs and pointing of the brick facades, new suspended ceiling systems to replicate those lost due to the fire, new lighting, air conditioning, fire alarm, a new main altar with handicap access, chandeliers, new flooring, interior finishes, and more while keeping within a tight budget from the insurance provider. The parishioners were extremely happy with the way the finished project came out, and H2M was pleased to be able to help the church community during this painful process and to be a part of this church’s re-birth for the future.

Parishioner Miriam Auqilla embraced the new church for the first time and said, “Oh my God, it is so beautiful,” she said. “I can’t believe it. It’s different. Nice. Very, very nice.”

Frank Smith, Senior Architect at H2M architects + engineers said, “Being at the church the morning after the fire, seeing the destruction, and witnessing parishioners crying in the street out front, was very moving. I was glad to be able to see the project through, from initial destruction to reconstruction and to the embellishment of the interior with a brand new liturgical scheme. It offered me a chance to devote myself to not only a project, but also to being a part of re-building something of personal importance to me.”

Founded in 1933, H2M architects + engineers is the largest multi-disciplined professional A/E consulting and design firm based on Long Island. H2M prides itself on offering expertise from all of our market leaders and employees, however, connecting with our clients on a personal and professional level is H2M’s primary focus.

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H2M is a full-service consulting and design firm offering the expertise of more than 290 architects, engineers (water supply, civil/site, structural, M/E/P, wastewater and environmental), planners, designers, inspectors, surveyors and scientists. H2M meets the challenges associated with buildings and infrastructure and has been serving various markets throughout Long Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut for over 80 years. For more information, please visit

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