The demolition of the former Sanders building on Bearden Park Circle is a significant step in the construction of the new Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Project managers were poised to fire-up their demolition equipment once the building was vacant and the all-clear signal was given. That day came on Oct. 6.
“This is a critical link. Now that we’ve moved forward with demo’ing the building, we are able to move forward again into active construction,” said Father David Boettner, vicar general for the Diocese of Knoxville and rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The former Sanders building sits on a hill overlooking the current Sacred Heart Cathedral. Beneath it lies thousands of yards of precious compactable dirt— which will be moved to the cathedral construction site.
“Once the dirt is in place, we will start drilling down into bedrock to put piers in that will support the structure of the church. This is really a necessary step to get us to that.”
A new parking area, with a landscaped hillside, will be located where the Sanders building once sat.
“One of the challenges Sacred Heart had for many years is that we were landlocked on a very narrow piece of property. This area is key in that it will give us new access from Erin Drive, and enable us to put parking right up against the facilities we’re building. This will give us great parking for the new cathedral as well as when the existing cathedral becomes a social hall, and for the new school entrance.” Father Boettner said.
Overall, parking will increase from 280 spaces to nearly 450 spaces across the campus.
Many of those benefits are coming— now that heavy equipment is once again rolling across the Cathedral campus.