By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — St. Paul the Apostle Parish kicked off a $4.6 million capital campaign Sept. 17-18 in an effort to address continued growth and a desire to preserve and maintain its facilities. The campaign’s theme is “Glorifying God in Gratitude and Gift.”
Michelle Herrington, director of parish life, said a building needs assessment of the church, school buildings, offices and Early Learning Center was completed in 2013. The parish held three town hall events and surveys for parishioners to prioritize top needs. From there, the facilities planning committee worked to finalize campaign plans. The parish actually has three goals, depending on how much money is raised.
The celebration goal of $2.5 million has several components. Restoration and renovation of the church ($972,000) includes restoring stained glass windows, fresh paint, replacement of carpet with a solid-surface floor, new pews, pew chairs in the choir, and handicap-accessible areas and a few other areas. The new seating arrangement will gain about 50 seats. Also, a new tabernacle will be purchased and placed behind the altar. The baptismal font will be relocated.
Electrical and mechanical improvements to the church ($239,000) will include a new heating system. Electrical improvements of $615,000 are necessary because the main part of the school was built in 1926. With today’s technology, the demand for electricity is much higher.
Remodeling of the school office and entrance ($210,000) will include a second set of doors so that visitors must check in at the office before entering the main building. Remodeling of the main restrooms in the school ($129,000) will accommodate the school’s needs and parish activities on nights and weekends. Improved handicapped accessibility in the school ($353,000) will include a ramp added to the main entrance and an elevator installed to benefit students with limited mobility and school visitors.
If the parish exceeds the celebration goal and raises the challenge goal of $3.8 million, an addition will be made to the school’s first floor. This would include three new classrooms for music, art and band, and storage. At present, the classes are held in the Early Learning Center next door.
The victory goal of $4.6 million includes the projects identified above, plus an addition to the school’s second floor. Two more classrooms and a small breakout room would be added. With this arrangement, the second-grade classroom now located next to the main entrance would be moved, providing additional security for students. The existing first-floor classroom would become a much needed meeting room.
Don and Mary Adams, general chairs for the campaign, spoke at the 4:30 p.m. Mass on Sept. 17 and other chair persons spoke at Sunday Masses. Parishioners for about 30 years, the Adams raised their four children in the parish. Don and Mary previously served on the committee that led the last campaign to build Denning Hall, the gathering space, and additional classrooms and media center at the school. “It was a huge success,” Don said.
Mary said St. Paul’s is an extension of their family. She encouraged parishioners to look at the case statement mailed to them and to view the facilities. “We have deficiencies. You certainly do not let your own home fall into disrepair. We have challenges at home ourselves with the need for a roof at our home. But pray deeply as to what God is asking you to do.” The couple emphasized pledges can be spread out over three years.
Pastor Father Tony Herold said the “case is very clear. We need to do these projects here and now.”
He noted to parishioners that he did not write the amount of a suggested contribution on pledge cards. “I got a letter addressed to myself and the amount was enormous. But I prayed about it and gave what I felt I could. It is between God and me, but please be generous.”
Following Mass, parishioners were invited to take tours of the church and school to look at the needs addressed. Drawings of the projects were on display in Denning Hall and various campaign chairpersons were available to answer questions.
Ben and Amy Kolner think the plans are great. “We are excited,” Amy said. Their son Will is not old enough for school, but Ben said it sounds like the upgrades to the church and school buildings are much needed.