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Crews install bell at under-construction St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Kailua-Kona

July 2, 2014 - 6:15am

A large bell was installed Tuesday at the new St. Michael the Archangel Church in Kailua-Kona.

Ground breaking for the church was held Sept. 28, 2012. The former church building was deemed unsafe by structural engineers in 2007 following Oct. 15, 2006, earthquakes. Since then, services have been held in a tent on the Alii Drive property, and, more recently, at a facility off Honokohau Street in Kailua-Kona.

Completed in 1850, St. Michael the Archangel is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Kona, according to the Kona Historical Society. Gov. John Adams Kuakini gave the land beneath the facility to the Catholic Church in 1841. The original building was completed under the Rev. Joachim Marechal.

The new facility will include a 9,455-square-foot church building and a two-story, 11,030-square-foot parish hall. Also in the plans are a parking lot and landscaping. The $7.1 million project will be built in two phases. Construction is underway with a completion date targeted for Christmas.