Fr. Darrin Merlino, CMF - Sacred Heart Parish, PastorJune, 2018

Dear friends,

Thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the foresight and generosity of you, the parishioners of Sacred Heart, our Capital Campaign has recorded pledges that will meet our initial target of $2.5 million. Construction began on April 2, 2018, and is progressing ahead of schedule. The church building is projected to reopen in October. All great news.

However, since 2015, when estimates and plans were developed for the purpose of securing the green light from the Diocese to launch the Capital Campaign, the following unforseen factors have resulted in a significant increase in costs:

• Elevator + $285,000:  Originally planned to be attached to the church, city codes forced us to construct a completely separate building and use only costly steel framing, joists, and etc. 

• HVAC +$155,000:  The 2015 plan called for much of the existing HVAC system to be reused; over time it became clear that all of it was far below acceptable limits and needed to be replaced. This presented a cost-effective opportunity to also upgrade the school’s HVAC system, though that extension will be offset by $200,000 from the school’s capital reserve.     

• Asbestos & Ceiling +$215,000:  The discovery of asbestos dictated rigorous HAZMAT removal and disposal throughout the church. Furthermore, structural limitations in the roof beams plus the need to assure the optimum clarity of our new audio system necessitated a switch to lighter, more expensive, and acoustically superior ceiling materials.

• Inflation + $45,000:  In 2015 the economy was still in recession; costs were a lot less. Over the past 18 months the economy has substantially improved, resulting in greatly increased demand for contract labor and materials. 

These four factors—unknown to us in 2015—added $700,000 to the total cost of the renovation. We have delayed the announcement of this situation until our project team, headed by Greg Watts, could confidently state that all major risk/cost items have been dealt with, and all construction contracts had been finalized and approved by the Diocese. 

With Fr. Raj taking over as Pastor in July, our new Parish Manager, Jim Wren, also beginning work in July, our beautifully renovated church to open soon after, and with Light of the World elevating our culture and our Pastoral Plan setting the course for growth and evangelization, this is clearly a special time of change, hope, and promise for Sacred Heart. I depart with very conflicted emotions yet there’s one thing I feel sure of: that our wonderful parishioners will complete the mission and not burden Sacred Heart’s future with ongoing debt. Please prayerfully consider how you might help. We’ve all worked so hard and for so long to bring about this desperately needed renovation. Let’s not falter now. May God bless you always, and may God always bless Sacred Heart Church.