This is the fifth in a series of articles to update and inform the congregation of the renovation project for St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church.
The generations of faithful that have gone before us have bequeathed upon us a treasure of which we are now responsible to preserve and pass on to the generations of Catholics to come. The first of those treasures is our faith. Along with our faith and faith traditions, another treasure is the very building that has served as our parish church, and within our church, a multitude of treasures.
The Renovation Committee, along with River Architects and Kraemer Brothers Construction, honor those valuable treasures and have worked diligently not only to preserve as much as possible of the church structure, but also things within the church that are of value to this community of faith.
Here’s what we will be able to save:
¨ The integrity of the building, that is, the “feel” of the brick and beam structure.
¨ The roof - while structurally sound, will need more insulation and need to be re-shingled.
¨ The bell tower and the bell – the tower will need some structural reinforcement for safety and modification for cosmetic reasons.
¨ All of the stained-glass windows – some of the large windows will be moved to the addition (not in bathroom windows) but none will be lost.
¨ Three walls of the church - the east wall (facing the small parking lot) will be dismantled and any bricks necessary to repair the church will be saved.
¨ The steps in front of the church will be replaced by a plaza that will allow entrance into the gathering area.
Within the church we will save:
¨ The Stations of the Cross - they will be refurbished and reinstalled.
¨ The tabernacle - it will be given a new home within the renovated sanctuary, behind the altar.
¨ The crucifix – it will be reinstalled above the altar.
¨ Candle sticks, stands, tables, etc. – all will be used in the renovated church.
¨ The large oil painting that once was over the altar, now hanging over the inside entrance to the church – it will be hung in the new Gathering Space.
¨ The pipe organ – this is a treasure that we will preserve, but when the organ was moved to its current location in 1972, 60% of the instrument (stops) were lost. We want to restore the organ to its original quality. The cost of repair, upgrading and reinstallation of this instrument is estimated at over $200,000. We will preserve it until such a time that we can afford to complete the necessary repairs and upgrades.
As you can from the above lists, as much of the church structure and what is within the church will be saved and become a part of the renovated church. There are some items, however, that are feasibly impossible to reuse. We will sell as many as possible to recoup the cost of replacement.
¨ Altar, Ambo, Presider Chair – new liturgical furniture will be designed and built to blend into the remodeled church.
¨ The sound system – A new system will be designed and installed to accommodate the renovated space.
¨ Pews - New pews will be designed to fit the space and layout of the church. The old ones will be sold to recover some of the cost.
¨ We will use all the HVAC infrastructure that we are able, including two boilers and the one air conditioner that works. Unfortunately, most of the HVAC and the electrical systems will have to be replaced as they would not meet current safety or efficiency standards.
River Architects has been very supportive of the parish’s desire to preserve as much of the “old” to create the “new”. The Renovation Committee feels confident we have done that.