Before the restrictions of the current pandemic, the St. Charles Parish Center Planning Committee met to select an architectural firm. Once we settled on River Valley Architects, we met with them to refine our plans. It was our intention to produce displays of these plans to be placed in the narthex on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, so that many parishioners could look them over when they came to church. Then we were going to have a parish meeting on Sunday evening, April 19, to get feedback on our proposed plan from all of you and make any final adjustments. Because of the restrictions on people gathering, we have been unable to do those things.
Nevertheless I want you to know where things stand now. We have what the planning committee and the architects believe to be a realistic design that can be divided into three phases. Phase 1 is the building of the parish hall attached to the southwest corner of the church. This will include an expansion of the rectory garage to accommodate storage of our power equipment, since we will lose the white garage where these things are now stored. Phase 2 is the paving and striping of the eastern half of the parking lot. While this ranked as the highest priority in last year’s feasibility study, it cannot be done before the construction of the hall, since the construction equipment needed to build the hall would ruin the parking lot. Phase 3 is the building of additional accessible parish offices. No longer to be located in the new hall, these offices will be located in the area between the rectory and the church. The three offices on the main floor of the rectory will continue to be used. Once that is done, the pavement around the school and the southwest portion of the parking lot can be finished. The northwest portion of the parking lot area will remain as playground greenspace for the school.
Currently we are in the process of selecting the contractor who will oversee the construction. According to diocesan policy, we must have 80% of the funds on hand needed for each phase before construction of that phase can begin. We will move forward with each phase only as the necessary funds become available.
We are anxious to share our plans with you. I believe we will have a way to do that soon, even if we cannot have a general meeting. Please continue to honor your pledges and seek the intercession of our parish patron, St. Charles Borromeo, both for the success of these projects and for the end of the pandemic. St. Charles, in his lifetime, was familiar with both construction and pandemics.
Yours sincerely in Christ,