The renovations planned for St. Joseph Church have been planned from the inside out -- first addressing the needs of the aging church building and then envisioning spacious new fellowship areas.
According to the parish building committee (comprised of construction industry professionals), the modernization and functionality of the church itself accounts for a significant part of the project budget. Bringing the church building up to code after nearly 50 years of constant use was the first consideration.
As with any renovation project on an aging structure, building code considerations are a priority. The church sanctuary needs a fire sprinkler system (this was not required in 1967) and upgraded electrical. Audio/video capabilities need to be upgraded for improved sound quality, and the electrical work will also include LED lighting and more accessible outlets (needed for cleaning crews and general maintenance) in order to accommodate modern technology.
Safety concerns for our parishioners and volunteers will be addressed elsewhere, too. A new staircase will be added behind the wall at the back of the altar. This will be used specifically for the church decor ministry and maintenance crews, so they can more safely access high areas when decorating the church. In addition, small steps and entrance on the southeast end of the curved wall behind the tabernacle allows the parishioners entering the building from the south to enter behind the pews rather than in front, next to the tabernacle. More about safety features.
With safety and security features in mind, the plans for the new narthex and covered entrance took shape. At the renovated church, parishioners can approach and enter the church on level ground from the new front entrance on the east side of the church. The covered drop-off area will ensure safety for parishioners who need to be dropped off and enter the building on level ground. This should be a blessing for our parishioners using walkers, wheelchairs, or needing assistance getting in and out of vehicles.
Parish Center Renovations
The same is true for the renovations planned for the parish services center building. Basic building improvements such as accessibility features and electrical upgrades will bring the building to code. Originally designed as the St. Joseph Grade School 60 years ago, the building was converted to a multi-use center for parish offices and adult religious education after the new St. Joseph Education Center was built in 2003. Renovations to the parish center include an elevator to serve all three floors, replacement windows on two floors on the building, and central air conditioning throughout the building.