Hurricane Irma hit Naples less than a year and a half ago, decimating many parts of our beloved community. We are blessed that the anticipated storm surge never materialized, as it would have put all of Naples Park under feet of water, and flooded our church into its second story. That said, with over $4 million in damage, we have been hard at work repairing, restoring, and renewing our campus. Our Parish Family deserves more than patching up drywall and replacing a roof. The revitalization of our campus includes just about every square inch. You are probably seeing some of it right now if you are sitting in Mass in our Ballroom or in the Pulte Family Life Center Gym. There is so much more, from the renovation of the Claussen Center (nearly complete), to the exterior lighting and parking lots, to our new Sanctuary, and we hope it will increase the joyousness of everyone that enters our grounds.
As part of this renewal, we determined that a consistent naming convention for our buildings and main rooms should be created. We had a parish-wide contest over 2 years ago on how to name the spaces of our campus so that we could easily communicate where various events and activities would be held. We chose cities of the New Testament for the names for rooms within our buildings. Additionally, we have developed maps to assist both our Parish Family and our visitors on how to find these spaces.
Many of us may never have ventured beyond the church building prior to our displacement from that building. Now, we are all fairly well versed in our Parish Activity Center, where the Ballroom, the Rome Room, our church office, and ten classrooms are housed. This building’s multipurpose capability will be fully realized when we are able to move back to the church, and the Ballroom can be used for receptions and events of various types. Rome was renovated prior to the storm as a small meeting and reception space, and it allowed us to find a flaw in the carpet prior to installing it in the Life Center. It has been repaired from the damage from the storm and is in full function for our essential Ministries and activities now.
With tens of thousands of dollars in flood damage and the plan to renovate part of the building with the Capital Campaign, the Claussen Family Center was an essential space to renew. Unfortunately, we could never have anticipated the complete failure of 4 Air Conditioning Units within the building all at once, requiring a total system replacement, including piping. That delayed the renovation efforts a bit, but the building is nearly complete. Now, Alexandria (previously known as the Seminar Room), Antioch (the old Adult Meeting Space), and our new Library (where the Youth Room used to be) are wonderful meeting locations for groups ranging from 6 to 90. A new Counseling Office has been created where the old Youth Coordinator’s Office used to be and is used for mental health services provided by Catholic Charities for free to the community.
If you have not traveled back to the new Pulte Family Life Center for either an activity or for Mass, you are in for a treat! The nearly complete Life Center hosts a tremendous amount of activities already, and it has not even finished yet. There is something for everyone going on daily in the Life Center. Many of our classes, including Adult Faith Formation, are hosted in the Nazareth Room, right down the hall from the 5 Saints, our café and bar. We have already had a 450-attendee concert and basketball games in our Gym, not to mention 3 Masses each weekend.
Our campus is coming together, so these maps will help you find where to go and how to get there. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your continued patience and flexibility!