AUSTIN, Texas - One week into the new year, and one community is already off to a tough start.
"It's extremely discouraging I couldn't stop my tears this morning. You know we built this Center from the very beginning. We bought the land four years ago and we saw the beautiful building coming along," said Junaid Siddiqui of the Islamic Center of Lake Travis.
A project on the 4700 block of Doss Road in the Lake Travis neighborhood was ruined after a fire on Saturday at 3:30 a.m.
"It's really sad to see this. And also the fact that this was a community based project," said Shakeel Rashed, a Travis County resident.
The Islamic Center of Lake Travis was set to open in April, in time for the holy month of Ramadan.
Local Muslims had been using a nearby school as they eagerly awaited their new center.
"This year Ramadan would've been during school time and we wouldn't have Hudson Bend Middle School," said Rashed.
But the space wasn't just designed to be a place of worship.
"(It was also built) to be able to provide community based services for people who need medical care,” said Rashed. "We were going to establish a library here so that people can openly come here and see what Muslims are doing, what the center was about."
After all the work and sweat, this is the biggest disappointment in a string of setbacks on this project.
"Some of the bobcat trucks were vandalized by somebody," said Siddiqui.
The Center's leadership says this hurts the local Muslim community, as well as the greater public.
"There are people who think that Islam as a religion teaches violence … It’s totally the opposite," said Siddiqui.
For now the work to rebuild begins again.
"But you know, we're going to get up,” said Siddiqui. “We're going to make it happen again."
The Travis County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire and has not said if it suspicious or not.