After careful preparation and anticipation, Burke Lutheran Church’s more than 121 year old, 185 ton original sanctuary has been lifted and moved to a new foundation near a newly constructed facility behind its cemetery.
The relocation, which started on Friday, June 19, completed by NCI-Roberts Construction and Heritage Movers, was covered by WISC-TV, WKOW, and Fox News. The church building project was also featured by the Wisconsin State Journal in April.
“The congregation at Burke is incredibly excited with this move,” said Linda Huz of Burke Lutheran Church. “We have found the ideal mix of honoring our past yet facing the future. We will now be handicapped accessible, allowing us to be more welcoming and inviting.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America congregation has history going back to 1851, with its existing structure near the Dane County International Airport built in 1899. It has Norwegian roots and a membership going back multiple generations.
NCI-Roberts began the three phase project late last summer. Phase one was the construction of a 5,830 square foot one-story building with a floor plan incorporating a vestibule, nursery, warming kitchen with pantry, fellowship space, fireside room, offices, bathrooms; and rooms for files, mechanicals and storage. Above-window details tie into the original structure’s design.
“We are proud to help the church recognize its incredible history and continue its growth with this project,” said Jeff Grundahl, owner of NCI-Roberts Construction and parent company JG Development.
Before the church could be moved, an addition constructed in 1964 containing office and education space was demolished. Bricks on the church around where the addition had been attached were carefully removed and were used for repairs. Prior to demolition, the contractor also removed and prepared stained glass windows for use in the new structure, among other efforts to restore and maintain the memories it holds for the congregation. Entry link framing will connect the church to the new structure, and a 658 square foot addition will include a sacristy and organ room.