Now you can read more about the Our Faith, Our Family, Our Future project in the Campaign Corner newsletter, which is inserted into the bulletin each week. Click the links to each issue:
Why did the parish community have limited information on deterioration of the Church building?
When the detrimental effects caused by the settling of sand and silt was discovered, it was not seen as a catastrophic problem. At the time, the Archdiocese of Atlanta had just established Catholic Construction Services and the guidelines for parish repairs and construction were being formulated. Today, Catholic Construction Services reviews all costs relating to repairs, additions or new construction. The Archbishop approves all financial requests and requests for construction permits, since he is the title owner of all church property. Our Church building was built to the municipal and state codes of 1979.
Why can’t we fix the current Church building?
- In 1998, we attempted to fix the Church infrastructure to no avail. We infused cement and lime in an attempt to stabilize it. Today, the slab underneath the Church continues to settle. The repair solution is to sink piles connected to a lateral structure. The solution has no warranty for the fix with any engineer or construction company.
- Any initial changes to the existing structure would require us to conform to the existing City of Dunwoody building codes to ensure the safety and well being of the parishioners. This will affect: fire and sprinkler system, electrical systems, men’s and women’s lounges and storm water run-off. In addition, the sanctuary will require conforming to American Disability Act (ADA), which sets standards for handicap access.
- The total cost to stabilize the church building is estimated between $4 million to $5 million. Once again, there would be no warranty on the stabilization of the slab.
- In order to increase space for our current and future ministries, organizations and events, we will need a three-story structure. The same soil composition is present under the Administration Building. The cost to build a new structure replacing the Administration Building with adequate space is estimated at $10 million.
- The total cost to simply stabilize the church and then also rebuild the administrative building is estimated between $14 million and $15 million. The greatest concern is these measures will not provide a permanent fix. At some point in time we will have to tear the Church down. At best this plan is a costly temporary solution.
- Click here to see the engineering findings and repair estimate report.
Why build such a large Church building?
The new Church building increases seating by 300. Our current Church building seats 700 people. This increase has to do with the expected shortage of priests in the future based on the number of men in the seminary and the number of priests in the Archdioceses of Atlanta who are eligible for retirement. The Archdiocese anticipates Churches having to reduce the number of Masses celebrated on Sunday, leading to more attendees at each Mass. Therefore, all new Church buildings are required to seat 1,000 people.
Why is the design of this Church so different from our current Church structure?
The proposed structure is traditional. However, 70% of the seating will be in a semicircle as it is today.
What about a school?
The Family Center's first and second floors will have the needed classroom space for a school. Parishioner support for a new school and a detailed feasibility study would be required. Construction of the planned Administration Building would also be necessary to ensure space is available for the staff and other organizations.
When will construction begin?
The earliest construction can begin is the fall of 2016. Once city approval is granted and detailed architectural drawings are completed, a target start date can be more accurately determined.
While the construction is taking place, where are we going to attend Mass?
During the approximately 18 months needed to complete the entrance, exits and underground water detention system, as well as the church, Sunday Mass will be celebrated in the gymnasium. Daily Mass will be celebrated in the Parish Hall.
While the construction is taking place, where are we going to park?
There will be parking on our property, however, other options are being explored.
Is the parking deck going to replace Monsignor Kiernan Hall?
The parking deck, as needed, will be built on the current site of Monsignor Kiernan Hall. Two levels will be added to the footprint creating a total of three parking levels: ground, first and second levels. Monsignor Kiernan Hall would be rebuilt adjacent to the parking deck and be a 3-level structure.
What will happen to the Boy Scouts and the Knights of Columbus meeting area?
The new structure would then house the church staff, Scouts and K of C. In the meantime, these groups would meet in the new Family Center.
Will the Columbarium be affected during construction and after the new buildings are completed?
The Columbarium will not be affected at any time. During construction, the Columbarium will have parking accessible for families to visit with departed loved ones.
Where will we hold weddings, funerals and receptions?
During construction of the new church building, St. Jude's Catholic Church located at 7171 Glenridge Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30328, has offered to help us with these events.
Where do you get the cost estimates?
The Archdiocese of Atlanta, which approves all building construction, also provides technical expertise in overseeing plans. Catholic Construction Services provided the cost per square foot estimate based on several current Archdiocesan projects by extending those square foot costs to the proposed square footage of our project. Hence, the total is estimated at $18 million. At the completion of the Architectural Design & Planning phase, we will have a more precise cost estimate and timeline.
Why are we not building a school?
The Family Center’s first and second floors will have the needed classroom space for a school. Parishioner support for a new school and a detailed feasibility study would be required as the initial steps to create a new Catholic school once the Family Center construction is completed. Construction of the planned Administration Building would also be necessary to ensure space is available for the staff and other organizations that would be displaced from the Family Center were a school to be opened.
What elements will be preserved from our current Church?
All that can be reused will be incorporated into our new buildings. This includes the statues, crucifix, organ, piano, and other liturgical elements.