HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) – It has been two and a half years since St. Patrick Church in Hubbard was badly damaged by a fire. Crews have been working to rebuild and hope to see Masses return this fall.

Construction equipment still sits inside St. Patrick Church. Scaffolding is placed at the altar. The floors in the church, the sanctuary and the church hall still need work to be done.

“Things like that, but the big, major part of construction, rebuilding is all done,” said Fr. Michael Swierz.

They have finished off on the ceiling. Around the altar are arches that will have a gold trim around them. The next phase is the look of the church.

“We have to put in the pews here in the sanctuary. The kneelers have to be ordered. The baptismal font has to be made and the pulpit has to be made. So a lot of that churchy kind of stuff now has to get done,” Fr. Swierz said.

Fr. Swierz says they’ve been working with many different trade workers since the project started. He also says one project depends on the next.

“A layer of this and a layer of that, then you found out a lot of layers meant a whole rebuilding process,” he said.

Initially, he was told it was going to be less than a year to reopen. Now, he’s hoping they can celebrate Masses in the church by early fall.

He says there has been a benefit to having Mass at the parish center, which is a smaller space.

“I think it feels more like a really tight-knit community over there because we do have a lot of people that come to Mass and celebrate there,” Fr. Swierz said.

Once the floor is done in the church, they can finish the ceiling in the church hall downstairs. This is the area where they hold events to help benefit the parish.

“Hopefully, the day will come when we can start having our famous fish fry or our fundraisers and we’ll have our festival in August. So all of those things help,” Fr. Swierz said.

Even though their insurance company has paid for the bulk of the cost, Fr. Swierz says they have been getting help from parishioners.

“All of the fundraisers we’ve had before the fire put us in a financial position where it helps us out, put it that way,” Fr. Swierz said.