Sixth in a Series of Articles
Feb 26, 2020
This is the sixth in a series of articles to update and inform the congregation of the renovation project for St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church.
When the Renovation Committee solicited the help of River Architects, an architectural firm that specializes in the renovation of old churches, they were contracted to give us three plans. We would choose one and continue to refine that particular plan. That direction quickly expanded! It is hard to say exactly how many plans were considered, as there were plans, modifications of plans, revisions of plans and variations of plans. We considered building to the west, to the east and to the north. We considered demolition of the church and building new, as well as building on another site. We measured the plans through many lenses: liturgical guidelines, historical value, sentimental value, cost projections, parking requirements, site restrictions, outside curb appeal, structural restrictions, elevation issues and much more.
Whenever someone’s asks, “Did you look at trying…?” the Renovation Committee can honestly say, “Yes, we did!”
We call this “PLAN K”; it is essentially the same plan that was presented to the parish at open meetings in September 2018. It continues to be modified almost monthly, taking into consideration your comments, diocesan requirements and further discernment of need, cost evaluation etc. The Renovation Committee is confident we are:
- Preserving the integrity, or “feel” of the current church
- Honoring the historical value of the church
- Incorporating many of the suggestions parishioners offered of which all were considered
- Meeting handicapped accessibility and other code requirements
- Repairing and preserving as much of the current church as possible
- Meeting the expressed needs for current and foreseeable future
- Reflecting current liturgical requirements and theology
Other features of “PLAN K” include a main entrance facing east, directly off the parking lot. In addition to the Gathering Space on the main level, there is also a dining area and large kitchen on the lower level that will provide seating for 100 for funeral dinners, parish gatherings and meetings. Lastly, it preserves the bell and bell tower as historical markers of the church for the 160 years.
The plan has been viewed twice by the Pastoral and Finance Councils and unanimously supported. It has also been reviewed by the Diocese of Madison and has received initial approval. In order to receive final approval, more detailed drawings and a concrete financial plan are needed.
“PLAN K” promises to meet the needs of the congregation in the foreseeable future, just as our ancestors did for us for over a century and a half. We are confident you, too, will like what you see!