Groundbreaking is ‘exciting’ for Davenport parish, school|Projects include gathering space for Our Lady of Victory, new rooms for JFK school

Paul Scheibelhut, left, chairman of the Our Lady of Victory building Committee, and Msgr. James Parizek, the parish’s pastor, break ground for a new gathering space March 12 at the Davenport parish. A second groundbreaking took place at John F. Kennedy Catholic School.

By Anne Marie Amacher

DAVENPORT — After nearly three years of planning and preparation for an addition to Our Lady of Victory Church and its John F. Kennedy Catholic School, the parish is moving forward with the project.

To celebrate, Bishop Martin Amos presided at the 4:30 p.m. Mass at Our Lady of Victory on March 12 and gave a groundbreaking blessing afterward.

A 4,800-square-foot gathering space, plus a lower level of approximately 2,400 square feet, will become the main entry for the church. The addition’s main level will feature a finished meeting room, an ADA-compliant restroom, elevator, main stairway, a kitchenette and a storage room. The lower level will remain unfinished in the current plan.


To make room for the new addition, the Marian window will be moved to the west side of the gathering space, said Judy Johnson, parish administrator. “Mary will welcome all who enter.”

As part of the poject, a permanent baptismal font will be created and the church will get a new roof.

The school, which is in a separate building, will have three new classrooms. A band/music room will be added to the east side of the school where the mobile classrooms currently are located. A room which currently houses offices will be remodeled into an additional classroom, said Chad Steimle, John F. Kennedy’s principal. A new addition for offices will be added on the north side of the building, along 42nd Street.

In the lower level of the school, one classroom will receive an addition that will become the new childcare room. The current childcare room will be remodeled into two classrooms. More restrooms will be added in the lower level, Steimle said.

Three of the school’s mobile classrooms are expected to be sold this summer. The school will retain one mobile classroom until all construction is completed, he said.

 “This is an exciting time for Our Lady of Victory and John F. Kennedy Catholic School,” said Lee Morrison, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Davenport. “Hats off to the parish for continuing its support of the school and recognizing the value of Catholic education.”

John F. Kennedy has seen enrollment increasing for the past six years and anticipates that trend to continue in the K-8 level and at the preschool as well.

When all work at the church and school is finished, a new parking lot will be constructed. Estimated cost for the entire project is $3,438,320. This includes the additions, remodeling, roof, parking lot, relocation of the Marian window and engineering fees.

Precision Builders of LeClaire was awarded the $2.725 million bid for the church and school additions. Main­tenance items such as the roof and parking lot are not part of that bid.

The project will be funded with the $2.4 million in gifts and pledges from the Growing Our Faith capital campaign, Johnson said. In addition, the plan is to use $285,000 in savings, and take out a $600,000 mortgage from Quad City Bank & Trust. The project also will be funded with rebate money from the diocesan capital campaign and the sale of the mobile classrooms.

So far $2.395 million has been pledged toward the $2.4 million goal, Johnson said. She noted many of the large gift donations have already been paid in full. “That has helped to have the cash in hand.”

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