As I did after the first round of town hall meetings for our future planning process, I would like to provide everyone with an overview of what was discussed at the second round of town hall meetings. At the beginning of the meetings, we provided an abbreviated presentation of the parish data that was presented at the first round of meetings, for the sake of those who were not able to attend the first round. This included details of the $1.7 million of capital maintenance projects that need done on our three campuses. However, we also stressed that this number does not include major structural repairs on the Payne and Antwerp churches, and a few repairs on the Paulding Ed Center, for all of which, we still do not have costs.
We then presented potential options for the future of our parish, based on feedback from the first round of town hall meetings, and on the discussions of the future planning committee. The committee’s discussion was also based on the final report of the structural engineer that we hired to assess our three churches and the Ed Center. The first potential option that we presented was to build an entirely new campus, which would entail building a new church, a new school, and new parish offices, ideally within the same complex. We explained that a parishioner has offered to donate ten acres of land for this purpose. We reached out to an architect to provide preliminary square footage and an estimated cost. He estimated, based on square footage, that the structure alone (foundation, walls, roof, parking lot) of this new campus would cost between $6 million and $6.5 million. But then, when we include the costs of painting/beautifying the new church; removing stained glass windows from our current churches, cleaning them, and reinstalling them in the new church; and the cost of demolition of our currently existing buildings, we estimate that the cost would be between $9 million and $10 million. Of course, these are estimates; some parishioners have requested that we seek more precise numbers.
The second potential option that was presented for the future of our parish was to consolidate to the already existing Paulding campus. The structural engineer wrote in his final report that the Paulding church “is in excellent condition for both the structural elements and the exterior envelope and will only require minor maintenance work to maintain the structural integrity.” He also wrote that, “From a purely cost standpoint […] our office would recommend utilizing the Paulding Site for any future consolidation considerations.” Additionally, our future planning committee discussed at length that many parishioners’ feedback stressed the importance of a central location from which our parish can provide pastoral care to the entire county. Actualizing this option would entail converting the Paulding Ed Center into our school, updating much of the current building and building a gym/activity center on the back of the building. Parish offices would also be part of the new addition. We contacted an architect to provide us ideas, square footage, and cost estimates. The architect provided an itemized estimate that this addition would cost between $2.1 and $2.5 million. Additionally, we would have to include the cost of eventual demolition of currently existing buildings. Of course, anything sacred and/or valuable would be removed from the Payne and Antwerp churches first. Once these items would be accomplished, we would ideally plan to make the Paulding church more directly Divine Mercy themed over time. This would include, for example, resizing the traditional altars currently in Payne and installing them in the Paulding church, with different statues. We could also look into painting a different message in the arch above the sanctuary, replacing the current prayer to St. Joseph.
The third potential option that was presented was consolidating to the Paulding church, while leaving the school in Payne. This would entail building a chapel at the current school so that the students can have school Masses. An architect estimated that the chapel would cost between $1.1 and $1.5 million. However, when we add the cost demolition of current buildings and making the needed repairs on the Paulding campus, the total expenses will be between $2 million and $2.5 million. As mentioned above, we would try over time to make the interior the current Paulding church more Divine Mercy themed.
In an upcoming bulletin, I will provide answers to some of the questions that were asked at the town hall meetings and after. As always, please feel free to contact me at the parish office if you have any questions or comments.
Blessings to you all!