A last-minute effort has been launched to prevent an 89-year-old Ukrainian Catholic church from being deliberately burned to the ground next month.
The Spaca Moskalyk Ukrainian Church near Mundare is unstable and engineers believe shifting ground will cause the boarded-up wooden structure to eventually collapse.
Restoration would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars so church officials arranged with the Lamont County Fire Department to burn the church down on March 9.
Parishoner Cliff Moroziuk is part of an effort to save the church so it could be stablized and restored.
"We've received a lot of support via email and phone calls and pledges of financial support," he said. "At this point we're probably up to twenty five thousand dollars in pledges and support."
Retired Chief Justice Alan Wachowich hopes the building can be saved. His parents were married in the church.
"These kinds of buildings ought to be preserved," he said.
"We're a very, very young province and if we start destroying this church and the next church and the next building, I say to myself — what are we doing? We're preserving nothing. We don't have much anyways so let's preserve what we can."
Lamont County Fire Chief Randy Siemens said that preparations are still underway for the controlled burn but the plan is tentative.