CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Catholic church in Charlottesville will soon look a little different.

Dozens of people gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking on Monday, May 14, at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish.

The new church will increase seating capacity from 800 to 1,200. Church members say it's important to have a space large enough to accommodate University of Virginia staff and students.

"It's important that this space, which will be used by the students, and have an opportunity for them to gather and worship and praise along with other members of the community,” says Reverend Barry Knestout, the bishop of the diocese of Richmond. “It's important that we have a space that's adequate, especially since given the size and the significance of the University of Virginia."

Church construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.