Project Description

This week I have some exciting news that has been in the works for quite awhile.  I’ve mentioned in the bulletin a few times, and to a few different groups at various times, that we’ve been carefully assessing the possibility of building an addition to our campus.  I’m very excited to let you know that, after a lot of discussion, prayer and research, we are going to embark on a capital campaign this fall.  Our goal will be $5 million.  It’s an ambitious goal, to be sure, but one that we believe is very achievable and necessary for the continued growth of our parish and school.

 

Discussion about a building expansion has been going on for quite awhile.  Those of you who were around when the last expansion opened in 2002 may remember that it was presented as Phase I of a multi-phase project.  And when I returned to Christ the King in 2015, a set of conceptual drawings was sitting on my desk!  In late 2015, we brought together a committee of parishioners to assess our needs and put together a wish list, which, with the help of Creative Design Solutions architectural firm, we spent the next year whittling down to a project that we thought we could afford.  We’ve recently retained Our Sunday Visitor to help us manage the campaign.

 

The design we’re putting forward will consist of a gymnasium and 8 classrooms (4 classrooms each in 2 stories), situated in the area where the maintenance garage currently stands.  An expanded facility will allow us to address a series of very pressing needs:

 

  • Room to expand our early childhood educational ministry: Right now our early childhood programs (pre-K in particular) are constrained, both in the number of students we serve and the extent to which we can tailor their education to their specific developmental stages, by a lack of space.  More classrooms will not only allow us to improve the Christian formation of these children, but will continue to draw young families to our parish community.  We are blessed to see so many young families at our Sunday Masses, and our early childhood program plays no small part in bring those families to Christ the King.
  • Dedicated meeting space for larger groups: Our parish survey indicated that many people feel our current meeting rooms aren’t sufficient for our needs.  This is particularly true for larger groups that won’t fit in the Fr. Jones Room.  An expansion will give us a vastly improved meeting space that can accommodate groups of 60-70 people.
  • Improved after-school care: We currently average 70-80 students per day in our after-school program, and if you’ve ever stopped by on a weekday afternoon, it’s clear that we don’t have a proper space for them!  This is an important part of our ministry to working families, and it needs immediate attention.
  • A full-size gymnasium: Right now our school gymnasium is less-than-regulation size, which limits its uses.  We have to rent gym space all over town for practices, which creates a lot of inconvenience for families and disrupts family meals.  We also lack adequate facilities for larger social events, which is why we’ve had to cap attendance at popular events such as Trivia Night, Pumpkin Ball and the Daddy/Daughter Dance.  A new gym will alleviate all of these problems, and more.
  • Exterior beautification: If we reach our goal, I’d like to use some of these funds to freshen and update the façade of the church.  In the parish survey, many of you said that the façade was badly in need of updating (especially in light of all the recent improvements to the interior of the church).  While the church is more than just a building, it is so important that our exterior is welcoming and inviting to people who might wish to join us.

 

In a couple of weeks I hope to be able to get a much more detailed insert to explain our needs and our proposal in greater detail, but I thought it was important to get the word out as soon as we could (since we just received diocesan approval to embark on a campaign).  Since the campaign will begin in September (with the intent of closing by December), I hope that folks will be able to use the summer to ask me questions about the project, voice any thoughts and discern how they might support this important campaign.  Please also note that our Bishop’s Appeal goal will be rolled up into our campaign goal, so you will not be asked to make a separate pledge for the Bishop’s Appeal this year.

 

I also would especially ask each of you if you might consider volunteering.  A lot of parish volunteers are needed to make this kind of campaign a success.  We need people who would be willing to help with:

  • Graphic design
  • Communications/editing
  • Making visits (don’t worry, you won’t be expected to ask anyone for money!)
  • Planning campaign-related events
  • Organizing prayer around the campaign
  • Other assorted tasks

If you are interested in helping in any capacity, just let me know and we will definitely find a place for you!  Our Sunday Visitor will train all volunteers so that they feel prepared and comfortable in their roles.

 

We haven’t had a capital campaign since the one that closed in 2002, and during that time we’ve been able to make a lot of terrific improvements without asking for multi-year pledges.  (Also, our physical plant is in great shape, and we’ve budgeted for upkeep and maintenance so that we haven’t had to fundraise for capital improvements such as roofs and boilers.)  We never take this kind of project lightly, and we know that this will be a sacrifice for many.  However, the needs are great, and this expansion is the most complete way to address these needs and move us into the future.  Again, more details will follow soon, but please continue to pray for our parish during this exciting time of growth!