Frequently Asked Questions
When did the Master Planning process begin?
The current Master Planning Committee was formed in May 2009.
How many people are on the Committee?
There are currently 10 people on the Committee. The composition of the Committee has stayed fairly consistent over the past 3 years. We’ve lost one member and added one member.
Why did we start the Master Planning process?
When we started the Master Planning process the Parish community directed us toward three primary objectives:
Expand our facilities for Faith Formation
- Our Faith Formation facilities were built in 1996 to accommodate up to 650 students. Today we have over 1,150 students in our Faith Formation program. Additionally, we added a Youth Ministry program in 2005. This program encourages the Parish children to continue to learn and grow outside of the formal Faith Formation structure. Approximately 150 of our Parish youth regularly participate in community service and faith enrichment activities.
Make our Worship Space more religious
- Since the day Fr. Pat became Pastor at St. Edwards he has been approached by large numbers of Parishioners asking how we can make the Worship Space more “spiritual.”
- With the recent closings of some of the urban Parishes we’ve been able to recover a variety of stained glass windows, marble, architectural wood and religious artwork, and a wonderful pipe organ. Many of these treasures have been incorporated into our plans.
Improve our facilities for service and social functions
- A number of Parishioners have pointed out that as we have grown numerically our capacity to handle larger groups has not expanded to meet our needs. We now use our Kitchen, Gathering Area, and Social Hall for a variety of functions, not just on Sunday, but over the course of the week.
- We have created “permanent” areas in our Gathering Area for Mary’s Corner, the Food Pantry, and similar programs. Our Kitchen is bursting at the seams as the Knights of Columbus and other groups prepare meals for various social functions.
- Expansion and modernization of our service and social areas has been incorporated into our plans.The first phase of this expansion is the new Gather and Social area. The next phase will include expansion of our kitchen and added space for Youth Ministry activities.
What time frame does the Master Plan cover?
Our planning process covers a period extending 5 to 15 years. We have attempted to meet the most pressing needs as early in the plan as possible while leaving as much flexibility as possible to make changes over time as our programs expand and change.
What are our needs?
Over the past 5 years we have meet with a variety of Parish groups individually, as well as the Parish collectively. Out of these meetings the areas determined to be most in need of being addressed include:
- Faith Formation Facilities
- Need more space for classroom activities and the redevelopment of the existing space for proper pedagogical methods used today.
- Worship Space
- Need an identifiable main entrance
- Need to make the church more visually warm and spiritual
- Need to add seats that are closer to the altar and get rid of “the cave”
- Need to better incorporate the choir and musicians
- Service and Social Facilities
- Need to add space to and update our kitchen facilities
- Need to increase the capacity of and improve the décor of our Social Hall
- Need to increase the size of our Gathering Area
- Need to add space to attract/retain our youth
- Buildings and Grounds
- Need to better incorporate facilities for the handicapped
- Need for better restroom facilities for all Parishioner, including the handicapped
- Need to add an outdoor Prayer Garden for meditation and wedding photos
- Need for a playground for our children
- Need for better signage
- Need for better traffic flow
Our plan attempts to address all of these areas.
The Committee had originally shown two plans, Renovate the current Worship Space and build a New Worship Space. Why did the committee recommend we build a New Worship Space?
Both plans, Renovate and New, would have met a significant number of our objectives. However, after careful analysis we believe that the option to build a new Worship Space will best suit our needs for the following reasons.
- It will take less time to complete a New Church, 12 months from ground breaking, with minimal disruption of services. The Renovation plan would have taken 18 months to complete and during that time approximately 1/3 of the church would have been closed off. We were concerned that this would have caused some Parishioners to go elsewhere.
- Building a New Worship Space allows us to view the recovered Stained Glass windows from anywhere in the Worship Space. The windows in the front of the renovated worship space would only be seen in full from the first few rows of pews.
- The new Worship Space expands our seating immediately to 1,135 seats and we have the ability to add over 50% more seats in the future with minimal disruption. While we can add more seats initially to the Renovated Worship space, we can only add a few more in the future. Any additional growth will require a new facility.
- The option to build a New Worship Space provides more space for Faith Formation, Youth, Social and Gathering as soon as Phase 1 is complete. We can immediately begin using the current Worship area space for numerous Parish activities, even if we spend no more funds. Under the Renovation plan we would need to expend more funds to get the planned benefits for Faith Formation and Social activities.
- The New Worship Space option allows us to add an office and permanent space for Community Outreach Ministries when needed.
- But most importantly, both plans will ultimately cost about the same.
What is the cost of the New Worship Space?
The New Worship Space will cost roughly $7.1M.
Is the cost for repairs to the current facility included in the cost of either the New or Renovated Worship Space plans?
No. The cost to repair and maintain our existing facility is in addition to the costs for either plan. The cost for repairs will typically be taken out of our annual operating budget and are paid for separately from the building project. We expect to be able to address all needed repairs without additional fund raising efforts.
Information about the New Church
How have our Capital Campaign efforts gone?
Our Capital Campaign has been terrific! 11,155 Parish families have pledged or donated so far. This is approximately 85% of the families who regularly attend Mass. As a result of this we have been able to set aside $6.71M to date. This is approximately 91% of the total we need to pay for the New Church. We still have some work to do to cover all of our costs and would welcome your help and pledges . Please contact any of the Master Planning Committee members if you would like to participate in any way.
The committee is confident that we will be able to pay for the New Church within three years.
What artwork is used in the new church?
We have approximately $2M worth of stained glass windows, artwork, and the organ from St. Patrick’s in Watervliet that we have been able to recover from churches in the Diocese that have been closed. The windows are from St. Patrick’s in Troy and St. Mary’s in Troy. They are absolutely beautiful. More information about each window will be coming soon!
Where is handicap parking located?
Handicapped parking is located in our east parking lot close to the current Worship Space. A handicapped entrance, with a ramp and door, is located on the east side of the new South Vestibule. This will provide a shorter walk than currently for handicapped Parishioners into our Worship Space.
Where's the front door of the new church?
For now, the doors are where they have always been. We plan to add new exterior doors at the far north end of the new Gathering Area, north of where the old Baptistry was located.