At the beginning of the year I announced my plan for a Community Hall to be accomplished this year. Our planning is complete and we are moving forward. Some have asked why we need a Community Hall. The reasons are:
1. To provide a space where individual mass attendees will get together with those from other masses and become a more close knit Parish family.
2. To provide a space for larger community activities that can’t be accommodated in the Assembly Hall.
3. To allow events to occur on weekends when the Church cannot be used and also during the week without having to break down the back half of the church.
4. To properly utilize the donations of Parishioners and not burden the Parish with debt. The last estimate we had to build a new Church with traditional construction was in the neighborhood of $6,000,000+/ and we would have to raise 75% of this amount before we could start and this would leave us with a significant debt to repay. The cost of the Community Hall is expected to be $750,000 +/. We have enhanced the sacred nature of the present Church and permanently freeing up the back of the Church will allow further enhancements to the entire Church building.
5. To allow informal gatherings of a larger number of Parishioners on Sunday after masses for events like the Ministry Fair or the most recent estate planning seminar without a time constraint.
6. To allow a location for wedding receptions, bereavement gatherings and even for meetings of other groups from our community area or private gatherings hosted by our Parishioners.
7. To help our adult faith formation effort by providing increased and appropriate space for social gathering.
8. To provide an emergency “on campus” space for celebrating mass in case of a major problem with the Church building during the time it is being fixed.
9. To make our Parish facilities equal in ability to offer services with all other parishes in the Diocese who have independent Social Halls.
The floor plan below shows that we will have a large hall that can accommodate 300 people or 200 at dining events and which can be quickly converted into two large conference rooms each of which can provide seating for up to 150. It will have a full kitchen and storage and bathroom facilities and will be equipped with modern audio visual equipment for the full hall and conference rooms. It will be a building we can be proud of. While we have sufficient reserve funds along with what we have in the building fund to build and equip the Community Hall, using these funds will significantly impact our ability to withstand other unforeseen issues that may arise and fund future maintenance requirements. Therefore, it is very important to rebuild these reserves.
How can we do it? Your continued generosity in donations and commitments to the Building Fund and APA will definitely help. In addition, since several parishioners have approached me at various times about whether there would be ways that they could remember members of their family who have passed on or leave a lasting testament of their love of and appreciation for the Parish and its role in their lives, after consultation with the Finance Committee I have decided that the construction of the new building offers an excellent opportunity for people to name selected portions of the Community Hall, Ministry Building, St. Clare, the Church building and some of the Hall’s equipment as a remembrance or to show their appreciation.
The names of donors will be attached to a plaque in the location or equipment designated as well as a consolidated plaque in the Church building. In Church publications these room names will be used in identifying the location of events (e.g. the Knights will be meeting in the Smith room at 7PM). If people would like to give amounts over a couple of years we can oblige. Some of these opportunities are listed elsewhere in the Bulletin. If this opportunity is of interest to you please contact me or Steve Putnam (7275800979) for further details.
Again I look forward to all the benefits this new building will bring to our Parish community.