I have been having a conversation about the future of our parish of St. Monica. We have taken a look back over what has occurred over the past several years. Last week we began looking temporal aspects of the parish. We complete our overview this week.
The parish had already paid off all outstanding financial obligations to the archdiocese. We could undertake renovations debt-free. This was an important item for parishioners. They did not wish to incur any debt in the completion of the projects. Payment would have to come from a financial campaign, parish reserves and operational expenses. In the end, parishioners said that they would be willing to finance a figure between $1.7 – $1.9 million. The Finance Council was tasked to watch, and make determinations, how projects would be financed. Campaign funds would underwrite the majority of the projects. Some would be paid out of parish operational expenses. The yearly maintenance budget would cover others. The parish would have to enlist a company and run a campaign to pay for the work. Several parishioners teamed up with the Finance Council to evaluate and select a company. Cunneen/Cathedral was chosen.
The final step was to plan, coordinate, and run the day-to-day aspects of the projects. Warfel Corporation offered an attractive package and was chosen as the Project Management company. They broke down the endeavor into various sub-sections. This included general, stonework-masonry-concrete, roofing, structural steel, doors-and-windows, carpentry, HVAC- thermal-and-moisture, a new organ, choir area, electrical, lighting, audio-visual, finishes. Major areas of work included the church proper, the gym, the “new school” in general, the school cafeteria, the Parish Center, the rectory and the grounds around the entire campus.
Where do we currently stand? Although this is not an exhaustive list, we’ve completed the following: Church: new roof, drains, flashings, replace rain downspouts, repair doors and window leaks, repair round “rose” window, repair doors, and hinges, paint entire church, refinish woodwork, reconfigure children’s (“cry”) room, refinish marble, repair carpeting, new acoustic system, new lights in church, new lights on Stations, new lighting control system, modify choir area, new organ, install audio/visual wiring throughout church for future capabilities. HVAC: replace chair air conditioning units outside (easier maintenance and noise reduction), replace church heating units (boilers and pumps), clean and do repair on all HVAC units campus-wide, maintenance contracts on all HVAC equipment, repair “First School” boiler and ancillary plumbing, perform long-term HVAC review with recommendations to Finance Council. Gym: clean entire gym including roof-level pipes, new roof, rain spouts and flashing, repair and clean banners, repair bleachers, repair backstops, install new American flag, install new Wi-Fi capabilities, replace rain downspouts. Parish Center: renovate Hagenbach room with new kitchen, lighting, temperature control and technical capabilities, renovate two new “youth rooms,” new kitchen, lighting, temperature control and technical capabilities, paint entranceway, renovate, paint and furnish rooms for “Small Groups,” replace broken/stained ceiling tiles, replace rain downspouts. School: Address steps surfaces, repair rotting wood flooring, renovate, paint and furnish rooms for “Small Groups.” Rectory/Office Area: new monitoring/security system, upgrade parish software, upgrade parish server and communications capabilities, upgrade Wi-Fi capabilities, new laptop/desktop units for the staff, mold remediation in the rectory basement. Campus: repair or replace concrete sidewalks and entrances, recoat parking area, new lock, camera and security system, new handrails for rectory steps, repair doors, door hinges and locking mechanisms, tree trimming and removal (when necessary), general trimming and cleanup of St. Monica Cemetery, radar analysis for location of all graves, digital mapping/charting of all graves, repair or realign gravestones.
Open Projects: Office area within rectory, priest living space within rectory, address sinking rectory porch and brick railing, emergency power supply source for rectory, renovation of cafeteria, church sign, campus signage, guidelines for further dissemination of funds for “Parish Outreach,” unforeseen HVAC repair, eventual replacement of gym HVAC unit.