Welcome to September! With the school year well underway, I think I speak for all of our faculty and staff in saying that it is such a blessing to have the students back in the classrooms! Although this school year will be far from “normal,” it is certainly great to be slowly moving back to what we are used to. Celebrating Mass and praying with the students in the church has definitely been a source of joy for me and I look forward to visiting the classrooms throughout the year.
This school year is also different for another important reason. Our first day of school on August 19 marked the beginning of our 100th anniversary academic year! While we will likely not be able to hold any big celebrations or events during this year due to COVID, we are hoping to celebrate it in some much smaller ways. Of course, we hope to celebrate this milestone down the road once it is safe to do so.
In a bulletin article from a few weeks ago, I explained that there are some repairs that need to happen on our Paulding campus. These repairs pertain to the Marian grotto in the prayer garden and the plaster inside the church. As an update, we have already received $1900 in donations to help repair the Marian grotto. This means that we still need another $2350 to cover the entire cost of the grotto repairs. Ideally, we will be able to complete the repairs sometime in the next few months. If left undone during the winter months, the cold weather could exacerbate the already existing problems. Regarding the plaster work inside the Paulding church, that will cost a total of $3700. To date, we have not received any donations specifically designated for that project.
In addition to the projects mentioned above, we also have experienced a need to upgrade the internet capabilities at the Paulding Education Center. Because the WIFI router is in the receptionist’s office, it often has difficulty pushing the signal through the block walls into the rest of the building. To remedy this, we are hoping to extend the “reach” of the signal into the classrooms and other offices by installing more WIFI access points. This will not only make our daily operations at the Ed Center go more smoothly, but it will also directly benefit our PSR program (once we are able to meet again in person, of course) and any other group that will be meeting in the Ed Center. Also proposed is an upgraded firewall to protect the location from cyber threats/attacks and give a higher level of security. The technology landscape is always changing (and will continue to do so) and we are a little behind the curve, but maybe ahead of other parish locations. We must keep a watchful eye on this ever-changing situation and address issues in a proactive way but be pragmatic in our decisions. The total cost of these internet upgrades comes to $5700.
On our Payne campus, we sustained some minor wind damage when a strong storm blew threw the area a few weeks ago. Fortunately, the damage was limited: a handful of shingles were blown off the roof of the church and one of the spindles on the bell tower was almost knocked off. We have already had the damage inspected and a crew will be out to do the necessary repairs. We will not know until after the work is done how much this will cost, but I will be sure to provide another update after the work is done.