Securing the Future of our Parish Family for Another 30 Years
We are blessed to be back in our church, again whole with our enlivening faith environment. This new persistent message: Finish the Church, is our final push of the Capital Campaign, to complete the transformation of the entire campus and ensure our success for the next 30 years. While we have come far already, we will all need to work together to complete our vision of the new Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Over the next few weeks, we want to give you an opportunity to learn where we stand, how we got here, and what we need to do as a Parish Family.
By now, most of you reading this have seen the transformation of our campus for yourselves. If you were here during the Season, we were able to accommodate our Parish Family in multiple locations across the buildings while we completed the church. In doing so, you may have been introduced to rooms you may have not seen before, like our Ballroom, or the new Gym. We hope you enjoy those locations for our Parish activities and events going forward, like our CYO Basketball, concerts, dances, and so much more.
As we have been discussing, this all played out for us during a Capital Campaign and a Hurricane. These challenges also allowed us to to accomplish something we had never dreamed: a far deeper transformation of Saint John the Evangelist. Over 85% of our campus has undergone massive repairs and renewal in the past 2 years. This has been expansive and extensive, with every building and room receiving some renovation effort. The hurricane damage exposed the opportunity to address added renovations, previously planned for the future, in a very cost effective way. In fact, the Parish Family Leadership took this opportunity to complete a major portion of our 5-Year Capital Plan all within this span, and much more, bringing the entire renovation to over $16 million of effort. Let’s walk through just a few examples of this transformation:
Claussen Family Center
Our smallest building on campus has one of our most important missions, the Catholic education of our Parish Family and the local area. Both the Youth and Adult Faith Formation programs emanate from this building, as well as our on-site counseling services and our brand-new Library (featuring both paper and electronic media and study space). This building sustained flood damage from Irma, so the walls would need to be opened up and the floors replaced. Additionally, the air conditioners for the building had totally failed, requiring not just a replacement, but a total overhaul, including new pipes from the outside units.
Parish Activity Center
While some may still call this building the PLC, our Parish Activity Center is still under repair and renovations that began the day after Hurricane Irma. We had planned a facelift for the aging Ballroom during the Captial Campaign, but with complete devastation of the building by the hurricane, we were able to transform it into a beacon of fun activities and events for years to come. New projectors and sound system were masked while we used the Ballroom as our church for an entire year. Flooring, seating, exterior doors, walls and stage were all renovated, including a new dance floor. Whether we are having a 300+ person concert or hosting the Naples Council of World Affairs 750 attendees at a time, the Ballroom is now ready and able to support all the activities in a warm and open environment. The 10 Classrooms and various offices that make up the rest of the PAC are now undergoing their repairs as well, matching the Claussen Family Center.
Pulte Family Life Center
The latest addition to our campus is the Pulte Family Life Center, the home of our Catholic Youth Organization and Catholic Adult Organization. This enlivening new facility has served us well already, doubling as a second church during season along with the initial set of our program offerings for our Parish Family and the Community.
From the brand-new exterior lighting for the parking lots and walkways to cameras for protection and surveillance, the new parking lots increasing the amount of spaces available, to our new pond in the back of the campus, nearly every inch of the campus has been enhanced and improved.
Last but certainly not least is our new church. Every inch has been updated and repaired. There are parts that you may never realize have been completely renovated, like the plumbing and electrical work. You may have already felt the Air Conditioning is tremendously improved as all duct work was replaced with the proper materials. Then, of course, there is all the visible effort, like the beautiful Liturgical environment, including new pews and marble from Florence, Italy. We ensured that the church building would be efficient and joyous for the next 30 years of Saint John’s service to our community and Parish Family, including “future-proofing” the building (for example, those platforms on the side of the walls are for potential projectors to view the Psalms and other Mass parts, if we determine that our Parish Family would like that type of engagement).
So, what does all of this tremendous effort mean for our Parish Family? We now have a completely transformed campus that will serve us all for decades to come.
Next week, we will address the remaining Capital need of our campus and how we will Finish the Church.