Church plans to expand

St. Therese Catholic Church launched a $3.6 million capital campaign this month to triple the size of its sanctuary amid rapid membership growth.

St. Therese was founded in 1946. When its present church at 217 Brawley School Road opened in 1988, the church had 310 families.

That number has soared to 3,071 families as of this month, said the church's pastor, the Rev. Vince Curtin. The church is packed at each of its seven weekend services, which include a Sunday afternoon service in Spanish.

Using cash reserves, the church recently expanded its parking lot to support the larger worship space, which will accommodate 1,200 worshippers.

The new church will cost about $6.8 million, Curtin said. With a combination of accumulated savings and a mortgage, the parish must raise $3.6 million to make the larger space a reality, he said.

Details and pictures of the plans:

Grand opening held for operations center

The town held a grand opening celebration on Friday and Saturday for its $8.6 million Public Services Operations Center at 2523 Charlotte Highway.

The center houses the town's public works operations for street maintenance, sanitation, fleet maintenance and buildings and grounds maintenance.

The facility houses the public utilities operations for water and sewer maintenance and part of the town's engineering staff.

Details: 704-799-4184.

Work related to N.C. 49 widening begins

The N.C. Department of Transportation recently began work related to the planned widening of 2.1 miles of N.C. 49 from east of Walker Road to east of N.C. 73.

The $19.4-million project includes converting the existing two-lane highway to a four-lane highway divided by a median, and replacing the bridge at the N.C. 49/N.C. 73 interchange, DOT spokeswoman Jen Thompson said.

Contractor W.C. English has been clearing and grubbing the length of the project to install a culvert, Thompson said.

No lane closures or traffic shifts are expected until later this year, when the contractor will place bridge girders over N.C. 49 at N.C. 73, she said. The project is scheduled to be completed in June 2014.