Catholic church breaks ground
New fellowship hall planned at St. Mary Magdalene
By Angie Landsverk
St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Community is building a fellowship hall.
A ground blessing and breaking took place at the church on Sunday, June 7.
“We have so much to be grateful for: this amazing worship space, a terffic facility to educate and provide faith formation for our children and this wonderful parish family,” the Rev. Amal Roche told members of the parish before he and others broke ground for the project.
Plans call for Phase One of the project to be completed this fall.
The building is being constructed in phases, explained Mike Nellis, chairman of the church’s COR Committee.
The overall construction cost of the project is $2.25 million.
The parish has currently raised $1.75 million, and that is the cost of the first phase, he said.
That amount includes $1.55 million in construction costs and $200,000 in costs for the architect, project manager and other design costs.
Ellis Stone Construction Company, of Stevens Point, is the main contractor.
Birschbach & Associates, Ltd., of Appleton, the original architect for the worship space and education wing, was again the architect.
Smocke & Associates Inc., of Milwaukee, is the project manager.
Nellis said Chris Smocke is a Waupaca resident.
“Bauer Electric will be doing all the electric contract. We are in the process of awarding other bids related to the project,” Nellis said.
Last year, parishioners made three-year pledge commitments toward the project.
Roche agreed that the parish should move forward with the project, at the recommendation of the COR Committee, Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Finance Committee.
All three committees are committed to constructing what the parish has the funds to complete, so no addtiional debt is incurred by the parish.
The 13,6000-square-foot building will ultimately include a fellowship hall, kitchen, meeting room accessible from the church’s exterior, restrooms, storage and a room which may be used by brides on wedding days and by grieving families when there are funerals at the church.
This wing is being built on the other side of the sanctuary.
Nellis said the first phase of the project will consist of building the shell and most of the mechanical and electrical infrastructure.
Those who were members of St. Mary Magdalene when the original building was constructed will remember the shell was constructed for the religious education wing.
The building was dedicated in May of 2003, and the religious education wing’s interior was completed following the sale of the old church, in downtown Waupaca.
Nellis said Phase One of the fellowship hall will include the installation of the basic fire protection sprinkler service, temporary lighting and sufficient ductwork to provide minimal heating and cooling to the building.
There will be no interior construction in that phase, nor completion of the exterior sidewalks and handicap parking. The parish will not be able to use the building.
The second phase will begin when the parish has enough funds to complete or do parts of the interior construction, he said.
Nellis said that phase will make the wing ready to be used.
Its esimated cost is $340,000, and it does not include the kitchen, exterior sidewalks or handicap parking.
The cost of the third phase is $165,000 and will include the kitchen, exterior sidewalks and handicap parking.
The building will be fully functional after that phase, although the parish will still need funds for tables, chairs, table settings, glasses and other items necessary for social activities.
It was about two years ago that the parish brought its COR Committee back together to discuss the project.
Without a fellowship hall and kitchen, the church is limited on its space for funeral luncheons and social events, including its popular Wine & Roses, Nellis said.
He said the parish is not able to host the community dinners held annually on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Future plans call for another pledge drive to complete the fellowship hall project.
“I think that there’s a lot of things that people want to do, and this will give us that ability,” Nellis said of the building.