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After 40 years, John Panko is seeing a dream come true. His church, Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church and Shrine of the New Martyrs of Ukraine, now has a new home. The old church, built in 1963, could only hold about 100 people. The newly-built ADA accessible church holds 220 people. In addition, there’s a Select Shake synthetic roof overhead that Panko helped install.
Panko has been a member of his church in Palatine, Illinois for four decades. When the building committee was formed for the new church, he was asked to join.
“It’s quite a challenge being part of the parish building committee along with serving as project manager for the roofing contract,” says Panko, with Custom Installations. “Right from the beginning I felt dual responsibilities. I needed to offer my experience and resources. Plus, I was also dedicated to building the best church possible for the glory of God.”
The massive project required everyone’s input. The clergy and parish boards were on board. In addition, the parish, supporters, and even the fundraising committee all added their support. Every individual and group focused their talents into turning the vision for a new church into a reality.
This church project is also important to Joe Mycyk. The architect has a strong Ukrainian background. He is the first of his family born in the U.S. This was after his parents immigrated to America. His upbringing includes the full Ukrainian culture. This includes church and schooling.
Mycyk is a member of the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Cathedral Eparchy. Therefore, he feels special bonds when working on designs in his Ukrainian community.
“These projects are close to my heart,” says Mycyk, president of Joseph I. Mycyk Architects, Inc. “When my designs are used to respect my ancestors, it’s a special feeling. Working with my friends in the Ukrainian community always brings me a special kind of joy.”
For Mycyk and Panko — and all the others involved — the scope of the project was huge.
Three-quarters of the old church perimeter and foundation walls are used to start the new building. In addition, original stained glass windows created by parish founders and tradesmen are incorporated into the new sanctuary.
With the new design, one original flaw was changed. The altar in the old church faced west. That’s not correct for a Byzantine church design. Therefore, in the new church, the altar correctly faces east.
From the base of the old building, the new church expands to the east. It includes a crucifix footprint for the church. Traditional Ukrainian Byzantine architectural elements now include a new narthex. In addition, a larger sanctuary and expanded nave are added. Extra space also accommodates a mezzanine area.
Outdoors, parking space is greatly expanded. On the structure itself, an odd number of cupolas and golden domes are included. This is per Ukrainian tradition.
The synthetic shake roof overhead also covers new additions to the church. A new grand entry vestibule and foyer and parish offices are included. Similarly, a new church kitchen hall is now part of the structure.
While researching roofing options, Mycyk found a Ukrainian church project on the DaVinci Roofscapes website. It’s located in Johnson City, New York.
“This church is built in the same familiar Hutsul style as many Ukrainian churches,” says Mycyk. “This style originates in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine. It’s typically a wooden structure. The buildings have wood roofs and siding. They feature domes or cupolas. Therefore, they are very ornate.
“Seeing the New York project with simulated shake roofing confirmed that we wanted the look of real cedar on the church in Illinois. However, we wanted products that would last longer than real wood.
“For this roof we focused on cost, maintenance and lifespan. After that, we took into consideration color options and warranties. Anticipated longevity was also very important. The Select Shake product checks off all the boxes.”
Select Shake tiles have the authentic look of real cedar shakes. The multi-width synthetic shake tiles come in a variety of colors.
Each Select Shake tile is 22-inches long. The tiles come in 8- and 10-inch widths. In addition, the 10-inch wide pieces have a simulated keyway. In other words, this gives the appearance of 4- and 6-inch width shakes placed together.
Above all, Select Shake has a truly authentic shake profile. It’s very traditional. This makes it ideal for the Ukrainian church design.
Panko was pleased to learn of the specification of Select Shake products. Another DaVinci product, Bellaforté Shake, had originally been selected. However, the church upgraded to the Select Shake. They liked the product’s appealing profile and style. Above all, the Mossy Creek color meets their needs.
The Custom Installations team is responsible for the beautiful new roof on the church. They installed the synthetic shake, snow guards and sheet metal work. After that, they added in the gutters and downspouts.
“Our company installs up to 20 DaVinci roofs each year,” says Panko. “They are very popular in our area. In addition, we get excellent support from DaVinci with the technical details for our projects.”
For this Ukrainian church, every aspect of product specification was carefully thought out. This includes the color of the synthetic shake shingles.
The parish design team invested a great deal of effort to find the perfect color for the new church. The color selection was so important that Father Mykhailo Kuzma and the building committee presented their recommendations to the parishioners.
“Our church specifically likes the Mossy Cedar color of the Select Shake roof,” says Panko. “This color has both a neutral earth tone and green tone to it. Depending on the particular day and sunlight, you see different highlights. Therefore, everyone likes the green tones. We all like the overall look of the roof.”
With the church now open, everyone is pleased with the end results.
“Custom Installations paid great attention to the roof installation,” says Mycyk. “They installed the DaVinci shingles in the craftsman style. The roof is a beautiful topping on this important structure.”
“Working together is important,” says Panko. “The architect and our building committee made certain that all the materials selected give the look and feel of a Hutsul style church.
“However, just like the synthetic shake on the roof, the other outside products have a much longer life expectancy. Plus, there are no maintenance concerns. This is exciting for all of us who regularly attend this church!”
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