Facilities Update – Church and St Gabriel Center

Letter from the Pastor, inserted into the bulletin on the weekend of May 14, 2017

May 12, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we celebrate the Easter Season, I hope that you have the opportunity to experience hope and peace in the glory of Christ’s Resurrection.  Earlier this year, I addressed the congregation regarding capital improvement projects for our Church (Phase I) and St. Gabriel Life Center (Phase II) that we are undertaking in the next three years.  We are in the final stages of planning and design for the interior renovation of the Church and I write to you today to share details as we approach July 8, the date in which we will transition Mass and other liturgical services to the St.Gabriel Life Center.

In 1999, Monsignor Caverly and a building team (including myself as the Associate Pastor) worked together to develop a vision for a spiritual home that would accommodate our growing congregation.  That vision resulted in the construction of our current Church which was completed in December 2001.  The building was dedicated on April 8, 2002 and it inspires us to be ‘living stones’ as we hear in the Second Reading today from 1 Peter.  Each weekend thousands come through our doors to nurture their spiritual lives.  This continued use of the building is a blessing but also brings challenges with regard to maintenance and upkeep.

In the summer of 2015, we began to assess components of the Church building to plan for replacements and updating.  Several key items were identified and this includes the floor, lighting, audio-visual and HVAC.  As we worked with Baker Liturgical Designs to develop a plan for replacing these items it became evident that this work would require the Church building to be out of commission for several months.  This ‘down time’ will provide the opportunity for us to bring forth components of the original vision for the Church that were eliminated during its construction due to budget constraints.  Some of the additional improvements will include:  adding custom woodwork to accentuate the Annunciation window, the colonnade areas and the Narthex; updating the liturgical furnishings to meet the guidelines of the universal Church and the style of the new materials; removal of the wood/glass screen behind the altar so that the Blessed Sacrament is fully open and visible to the congregation; adding pews to the north and south colonnade walls; and replacing the Narthex doors to better withstand the elements and provide for better security.  A final decision has not been made regarding the bronze Crucifixion scene. An option under consideration is to raise the casework to mirror the height under the organ pipes to accommodate a second video screen. In this option, the bronze would be moved to a prominent place on campus. Please see the rendering included in this supplement that reflects this option.

The scope and funding of the renovations have been vetted and approved through the Parish’s Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Facilities Team and the Diocese of Orlando.  Please refer to a breakdown of the project costs included in this supplement.  Funding for the renovation will come from general and capital replacement reserves that exist because of your generosity through the years and the careful stewardship of those funds.  Approximately $1.1 million of the costs related to capital replacement components (floors, HVAC, etc.) will be funded from the capital replacements reserve with the rest funded from the general reserve.  The inspiring programs, ministry opportunities and outreach that are an integral part of our parish as we live out the call to be ‘living stones’ will not be compromised or affected by the planned work.

Any renovation and change can be challenging and I thank you for your patience, trust and support.  The plan that has been developed and the investment we are making brings forth the original vision of Something Beautiful for God, now and for future generations.  Please refer to updates in our bulletin and on our website as we continue forward.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we give thanks for the gift of life and love provided by our own mothers.  Let us also ask for the guidance, protection and inspiration of Mary, our spiritual Mother and patroness of our parish, as we look to the future with confidence and hope.  We may not see one another each day but may we meet each day in our prayers!

In Christ,

Very Rev. Stephen D. Parkes, V.F.


Church Renovation Renderings

These renderings are conceptual only and may not be a precise reflection of the building.

Phase I
Church Renovation Project Costs

New Mass Times Coming July 8-9

When the church renovation begins on July 8-9 we will be moving all Masses to the St. Gabriel Life Center. To accommodate the same attendance with the smaller capacity of the St. Gabriel Center, we will be adding a Mass on Sundays.

The new Sunday Mass schedule will be 7:30am, 9am, 10:30am, 12noon and 5:30pm.

Again, the Mass times will not change until the weekend of July 8-9.

Timeline for Phase I and Phase II

September 2015 to July 2017

September 2015

– Pastoral Council discussion of improvements to Church interior.

October – December 2015

– Facilities Team vision for Church improvements.

May 2016

– Facilities Team review of initial Church renovation concepts.

– Finance Council approval to engage Baker Liturgical and initiate planning, design and materials orders.

– Diocesan Finance Council approval to complete the planning and design phase at a cost of $250,000.

February 2017

– Diocesan Finance Council approval to spend up to $75,000 for the planning and design component for a Community Gathering and Administration building to replace the current Life Center.

March 2017

– Facilities Team review revised details of Church renovation.

– Diocesan approval to proceed with work phase of the renovation at a cost of $2,530,000.

April 2017

– Begin process of preparing a preliminary cost estimate for the Community Gathering and Administration building.

May 2017

– Review and approve final Church renovation design details with Baker Liturgical.

– Architectural Request for Proposals sent related to the planning of the Community Gathering and Administration building.

June 2017

– Request Diocesan approval to proceed in planning a Capital Campaign to fund Phase II (the construction of a Community Gathering and Administration Building to replace the current Life Center) of the planned capital improvement projects.

July 2017

– Renovation work begins on the interior of the Church.  Mass and other liturgical services will transition to the St. Gabriel Life Center beginning July 8th.