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The campaign to renovate St. Joseph Church

FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE JOURNEY OF GRACE 150 CAMPAIGN:

Where is the gym and how can we access Masses there?

St. Joseph Gym Entrance

The gym is located in the Early Education Center (EEC), formerly St. Joseph and Aquinas high schools. It's the large building on the west side of campus with the blue awnings. Masses will be held there daily during the renovations. 

Parking lots are located directly in front of and north of the gym (along Johnson Drive). There is a wheelchair entrance to the gym (and wheelchair parking spaces) in the rear of the gym building, so that parishioners may enter the gym on level ground, without any stairs. 


What problems are we solving with these renovations?

The current St. Joseph Church was built nearly 50 years ago. While it has been well-maintained and cared for, it's showing signs of wear and tear. It also needs updated fire and safety systems consistent with modern building codes. In addition, there is limited gathering space for our growing parish. Here are the key challenges we're addressing:

Church Building
• removal of crumbling exterior entrance steps to create a level, ADA-compliant entrance
• installing fire sprinklers and fire suppression systems needed in the sanctuary
• repairs to trim along exterior of building
• replacing worn carpet with tile flooring
• replacing broken and chipped stained glass windows with liturgically significant stained glass
• replacing worn pews and kneelers with new pews and kneelers
• installing new sound system with loop system for hearing-impaired
• installing modern, energy efficient lighting throughout church sanctuary 
• constructing a spacious narthex gathering space with abundant natural light for fellowship events and overflow seating
• adding a new bridal dressing area and additional restrooms

Parish Center
• installing an elevator to make the building ADA compliant and easier for parishioners and guests to use
• replacing windows on the first and third floors
• installing air conditioning throughout the building's offices, meeting rooms and classrooms

 


Why a $6 million goal and what is the breakdown of costs?

Our 50-year-old Church has been well-maintained but needs better and safer accessibility, as well as modernization to communal spaces. The Parish Center needs air conditioning, an elevator and new windows.
Construction costs (Church & Parish Center): $4 million
Design, engineering, furnishings & materials: $2 million


How and when can we donate?

You can donate & pledge now using the paper pledge form. You can also donate online here. You can even make recurring monthly, quarterly or annual donations. Remember, this campaign is a 3-year pledge program, so spreading out your payments over time is an easy way to afford a meaningful gift.


How were these renovations determined and by whom?

Fr. Mike Hawken, pastor, consulted with the parish Building Committee, which recommended renovations based on needs.


When does construction begin and where will we hold Masses?

Construction will begin shortly after Easter in May 2017. Daily Masses and weekend Masses will be held in the gymnasium.


When will all the renovations be finished?

The construction of the church and parish center renovations is scheduled to begin in May 2017 and be completed by early December 2017 during Advent.


Will there be information sessions to learn more?

Yes. We are planning town hall meetings and in-home gatherings. We will publish dates in the bulletin.


What is a Narthex and what can we do there?

A narthex is a “gathering space” that promotes fellowship and more accessibility. It will also have:

  • Seating and gathering places for fellowship before/after Masses, at weddings and funerals.
  • Additional, accessible restrooms (without using the cry room).
  • Comfortable dressing area for bridal parties; this area converts to a cry room.
  • Video screens to view overflow Masses and for crowds signing guest books at weddings and funerals - Large glass windows which provide additional light flowing into our worship space.
  • A new gift shop location near the usher’s room.

Where is the entrance, and will other entrances be affected?

There will be a new main entrance on the east side of the church and new narthex area. It will feature:

  • A covered entry where cars can drop off parishioners on flat ground and go right into the vestibule.
  • A new entry drive, off King St., that leads into the covered drop-off area.
  • An updated east parking lot with plenty of accessible parking spaces.

Other entrances to the church on the southeast, southwest, and northwest sides remain.


What changes will we see inside the sanctuary?
  • Better accessibility, more light, and an enhanced focal point for Eucharistic celebrations.
  • New, slip-resistant flooring, with new pews and doors, and additional handicap accessible spaces
  • New stained glass windows, depicting scenes of St. Joseph and the Holy Family.
  • Relocated choir section, new sound system and instruments.
  • Altar design enhancements such as a new ambo (pulpit) and a new skylight feature.
  • Marble wall behind tabernacle will have a new, decorative frame. Doors on either side removed.

Where will weddings and funerals be held while the Church is being renovated?

During the renovation period (late April - December 2017), weddings and funerals will be held in other locations. The St. Joseph parish office staff is already working diligently to arrange locations on a case by case basis to benefit the families affected. If you're a St. Joseph parishioner, please call us first to make the arrangements and we can help work out the best possible schedule for your sacramental event. Please contact us by phone (913-631-5983) or email: amcanany@stjoeshawnee.org to discuss all available options. We appreciate your patience and understanding during our renovation period, and we will ensure that your event is handled in the most caring way possible.


Where will First Communion, Confirmation and Graduation be held during the renovation?

Confirmation and First Holy Communion will be held in the Church as planned. St. Joseph Grade School Graduation will be held in the school gymnasium in May 2017, as Church construction will be well underway then. The gymnasium has a wheelchair/walker accessible entrance at the back of the gym, and handicap parking spaces are available there.


What happens to the replaced materials?
During the Journey of Grace 150 renovations, some materials in the church will be replaced: 1. The commemorative bricks in front of the church will be removed and placed in another location. The church building committee is working with the architects on a design and placement for that important tribute area. 2. The building committee is working on a plan for the existing block glass windows to be used on campus, as well. Several ideas are being considered, but a decision will not be determined until construction is underway. Many of the colored block glass windows are deteriorating, and the mortar is loose or cracked. Until these block glass windows are extracted, and the condition of the colored glass blocks is determined, a decision cannot be made. 3. The pews in the sanctuary will be replaced, along with the flooring and kneelers. 4. There are a few other items (lighting fixtures, etc.) that may be replaced during the renovation. As the sanctuary design is finalized, those items will be identified and may be donated or sold.