The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America released a statement on Sunday saying that it has resumed construction of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in Manhattan. The original church was the only religious structure destroyed in the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.
Reconstruction was temporarily suspended in December 2017 because payment deadlines were not being met, and serious questions were raised regarding the use of donated funds.
The Archdiocese then hired PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC (PwC) to investigate the project’s finances. The ensuing PwC report confirmed that all expenditures from St. Nicholas funds were indeed used for the rebuilding of the church, and donor restrictions had been followed to the letter.
A new statement issued by the Archdiocese said that a new Board of Trustees for the Church and National Shrine has been named. December 6, the feast day of St. Nicholas, marks a new phase in the process of the reconstruction of the church, and a new financial course has been set.
The new trustees will now have complete responsibility for the rebuilding of the structure and the management of all related funds. The three trustees of the new foundation are Elaine T. Allen, Olga Pavlakos and Michael Psaros. Eventually the number of trustees will rise to fifteen and will include individuals from all metropolises of the Archdiocese.
The new Board of Trustees will grow to include seven members from the original St. Nicholas parish, and seven members appointed by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. Six ex-officio members will be taken from six major organizations such as the National Ladies Philoptochos Society and AHEPA.
A new not-for-profit entity called the Friends of St. Nicholas, Inc., has also been created for the purpose of raising, investing and disbursing funds for the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.
The Corporation will dissolve one year after the consecration of the new St. Nicholas buildings, and all its assets will then be distributed to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.