Scaffolding envelops Portage monument as St. Mary’s renovations continue | Regional news



“The exterior of the steeple at the very top has been removed and the bell is currently on display,” Clemons said. The scaffolding is lined with screens to protect the bell and the rest of the bell tower.

“This is one of the oldest structures in Portage, built before Portage was founded,” Clemons said. “It is one of the tallest structures in the city and people recognize it.”

Most of the improvements made to the church tower will protect it from bad weather and bring it up to standard.

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“Back then, 130 years ago, there were no fire prevention codes,” Clemons said. “This renovation will allow the church to be brought up to modern standards to ensure the safety of the building and the congregation. “

Inside the church, the original 1856 parquet is on display.

“This wood would have been locally sourced at the time,” Clemons said. The church was built in 1856 and was enlarged in 1886, but there have been a number of interior changes to the church over the years.

The church is devastated. There are no pews or altar, so St. Mary’s congregation meets at 2652 Murphy Road in Portage on Sunday until the project is complete. The old raised altar was removed and Clemons said the interior of the church rotated 270 degrees.

“You can see these markers on the floor that are used to show where the new altar will be,” Clemons said.



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