By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN A 7,000-square-foot addition is in the works for the Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Delano, but that’s only the beginning.
Delano Catholic Community, which also includes the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, is also getting new boilers for both church buildings, playground equipment from Landscape Structures for St. Peter’s School, and new roofs for the school and Handzel Hall at St. Joseph’s.
“It’s a long overdue project,” said Father Paul Kammen, who became pastor of Delano Catholic Community in July 2011.
The total cost is estimated at about $1.4 million.
The most prominent improvement is the two-story addition/renovation for Saint Peter’s Catholic Church, which will add full handicap accessibility with an elevator, a multi-purpose social hall, open staircase, a new entrance, and more.
“Demolition started right after Memorial Day, and everything should be wrapping up by the first week in September,” said Beth Duyvejonck, project manager at Opus Design Build in Minneapolis.
Opus Design Build has already completed much of the foundational work, including underground electrical and plumbing.
“There will be quite a bit of storage on the lower level,” Duyvejonck said.
New restrooms are also planned in that area.
“The bathrooms were pretty nasty,” Kammen said. “We are totally gutting those and putting in new ones.”
“They were getting pretty old,” Duyvejonck agreed. “There wasn’t good air circulation down there.”
A team effort
Improvement plans for St. Peter’s began shortly after Kammen joined the church, when parish business administrator Genevieve Fiedler suggested forming a building committee.
A group of volunteers started meeting last September, identifying the needs and wants of the church.
“We asked, ‘what could serve the church for the future?’” Kammen said.
One objective they agreed upon was making the facility handicapped accessible, to better serve elderly and disabled parishioners.
“We also agreed that a social hall would be a very good thing to add,” Kammen said, explaining that the church’s previous hall was destroyed in a fire seven or eight years ago.
With seating for 124 people, the new 1,855-square-foot social hall will provide space for youth events, conferences, and other church functions.
According to Kammen, the addition will accommodate existing growth of Delano Catholic Community, which had 2,492 parishioners as of March 2011.
“The best part of [the project] has been having people step up to the plate to help with it,” Kammen said. “It’s really a team effort.”
Generous donations, as well as the business expertise of building committee chair Steve Dahlman and other members of the church, have been extremely valuable, Kammen added.
Designed for the future
“We are thrilled to be working with the church of St. Peter to meettheir specific project requirements,” noted Opus Design Build vice president John Williams. “Using the design-build delivery method, Opus was able to provide St. Peter’s with a cost-effective way to move this project forward.”
According to Duyvejonck, the design-build delivery method allows customers to “design to the budget.”
“At Opus, we have architects and structural engineers in house, as well as construction,” she said.
The architecture of the addition at St. Peter’s will complement the brick and masonry of the historic church, which was built in 1913.
“One interesting thing with the architecture is that one of the exterior walls is going to be an interior wall,” Duyvejonck said.
To illuminate the stained glass windows on the wall, skylights will be placed directly above them. Directional light fixtures will also be installed, so that the windows can be lit at any time.
Kammen hopes to celebrate the project’s completion during the church’s annual Fall Harvest Festival.
Saint Peter’s Catholic Church is located at 217 S. 2nd St., and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is located at 401 N. River St. To learn more about Delano Catholic Community, call (763) 972-2077.