Church Design Update
June 2021

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Church Building Update

As you might have noticed, we suspended giving updates and announcements regarding the progress of our "Living Our Faith, Building Our Home" Church Building Campaign for over a year as a result of the pandemic. This was to be sensitive to the plight of many of our parish families who were directly affected by the pandemic. Within this time period, we were continuing to evaluate the progress of the Campaign redemption, while the Core Team kept working hard behind the scenes to monitor the rising cost of building materials.

Thank you for your patience, prayers and understanding through this challenging time. As the rate of viral infection declines, we believe this is a good time to resume sharing with you all that has been happening with the Campaign over the past year.

A brief note for our new parishioners: We started a capital campaign to build our permanent Church in April 2018. The campaign was successful, reaching our goal of $3.5M by pledge. We are currently within the period of pledge redemption which will end in August this year. Our plan was to “break ground” this 2021 and move into the new Church in 2022.

Early last year, we encountered a problem; our application for permission for the building site zoning was rejected by the City of Phoenix. This was a major setback as it required us to relocate the building site. Given the limited space of land available, this was not a feasible option. In addition, the rising cost of building materials, along with the significant financial impact felt from the pandemic, gave us pause.

After much prayer and reflection, I asked the Core Team to explore an alternative plan that would enable us to move ahead, keeping in mind the resources available to us and a timeline that would not put our parishioners on hold for too long. A creative, alternative plan was developed and has since been presented to the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils. Members of both Councils approved this new plan and gave their endorsement to move forward with it.

This plan has been presented to our St. Benedict Parishioners. Although this updated plan looks different from what we all originally committed to build, I appeal for your continuous support as we move in this positive new direction. The alternative plan is estimated to be half the cost of the original plan. This is good news since it is less than half of the projected cost of the original plan. Adding to the good news is that the alternative plan is realizable within our current building timeline.

October 2021 Updates
click to view larger

The following enhancements have been made to the Plan B floor plan after listening to parishioner input:

  • The Sanctuary was made larger.
  • A storage area was created behind the Sanctuary for the Art & Environment and Sanctuary decorations. 
  • A Priest Sacristy developed to allow the priests an area to prepare for Mass.
  • A lay ministry and altar server sacristy developed.
  • A devotional area created on each side of the Sanctuary.
  • Replaced the pews with chairs in the Chapel to allow for flexibility. Kneelers will be provided for Adoration.
  • The Cry Room floor was elevated by 6-inches to provide a better sightline to the Sanctuary. Monitors and speakers will be added in the Cry Room for live streaming of the Mass.
  • In the loft, the Bride Room next to the elevator has been expanded.

Frequently Asked Questions

Construction Phase / Logistics

Q: What is the timeline for the construction phase?
A: The estimated time to complete the modification to the building is 12 months from the time we break ground.

Q: Where will Mass be celebrated during the construction phase?
A: Weekend Masses will be held inside the St. John Bosco multi-purpose room. Daily Masses will be celebrated in an Annex room during the school year. When St. John Bosco is not in session, the SJB Chapel will be utilized.

Q: Will construction impact traffic and parking for St. John Bosco and Horizon schools?
A: The goal during construction is to not impact the traffic flow for St. John Bosco, Horizon Honors or morning Masses.

Church Redesign / Exterior and Interior Details

Q: How much of the existing building will be repurposed?
A: All of the existing building, except for the west wall, will be repurposed for the redesign. The west wall will be removed to add the new transepts, the Sanctuary and two Sacristies.

Q: Will there be outdoor gathering spaces for parishioners to meet before/after Mass?
A: Parishioners will be able to gather and socialize in a covered space on the northeast corner of the building, or on the grassy area near the north entry.

Q: Will there be exterior facilities/utilities to allow for hospitality receptions after Mass?
A: Yes, space will be available for coffee and donuts, and similar hospitality events.

Q: Where will the parish offices be located?
A: The parish offices will remain in their current location.

Q: How will a funeral cortege enter and exit the Church?
A: The Chapel will be utilized for small funerals with exterior entry on the south side of the building. The main Church will hold larger funerals with entry through the main doors on the east side of the building. The driveway will be close to both entrances.

Q: How many handicap parking spaces will be available?
A: The number of handicap parking spaces will be based on code set by the City of Phoenix and follow ADA law.

Q: How many total parking spaces will be available?
A: The total number of parking spaces will be based on the code set by the City of Phoenix.

Q: Will the dirt lot in front of the building still be open for overflow parking?
A: We are working with a civil engineer to address the proper flow of rainwater, which may impact the dirt parking area. There will not be an entry to the Church on the west side of the building.

Q: How many restrooms will be available?
A: The current restrooms will remain in place. An additional set of male/female restrooms will be added on the northeast side of the building to meet city code.

Q: Will restrooms be accessible from the outside?
A: Yes, new restrooms will be located on the northeast side of the building with an exterior entrance. There will be doors to restrict access into the Church as necessary.

Q: Will there be an Adoration Chapel that will be accessible from the outside 24/7 without allowing access to the rest of the building?
A: Yes, the Chapel will also serve as the Adoration Chapel and has an external entry with controlled access to the main Church. A restroom is planned for the Chapel.

Q: Will there be a prayer garden?
A: At this time, plans for a prayer garden have not been addressed.

Q: Is the bell tower a real working bell tower?
A: The bells will operate on a carillon system in the tower.

Q: How will the Church building be lit at night?
A: The detail lighting will be finalized during the detail design phase.

Q: Will there be a gift shop?
A: Yes, a gift shop will be located near the base of the bell tower.

Q: Will the Church be the same color as St. John Bosco School?
A: The goal is to continue to unify our Church and St. John Bosco School communities. The plan is to keep the basic overall color of the school, however, accent points of the Church may differ.

Q: How will the Church redesign integrate St. John Bosco School to maintain a campus feeling?
A: A dedicated, clearly marked crosswalk area will aid in the students’ safety as they cross to the Church. Additionally, the Church interior will have a devotional area of St. John Bosco. Other opportunities to link the school will be addressed as the budget allows. 

Q: Why will there be two Sacristies?
A: One Sacristy is designated for the priest which will allow him to have a private space for prayer prior to Mass. The other Sacristy is for the Deacon, lay ministers and servers.

Q: Why will the choir be located behind the people instead of in front of the people?
A: The choir will be heard well throughout the Church from the loft and the focus of the Mass will remain on the Altar.

Q: Will the choir loft have an organ?
A: The choir loft will be wired for an organ.

Q: How is the balcony accessed?
A: Two staircases and an elevator will be available to reach the balcony.

Q: Will kneelers be inside the Church?
A: Yes

Q: Will Confessionals be inside the Church?
A: Yes, there will be two Confessionals.

Q: Will meeting rooms be located inside the building?
A: Yes, however specific details will be finalized during the detail design process as we balance the various needs for storage and meeting rooms.

Q: Will storage rooms be available for liturgical items and other supplies inside the building?
A: Specific storage inside the building, including cabinets and closets in both Sacristies, will be finalized during the detail design process as we balance the various needs for storage and meeting rooms.

Q: Will a bridal room be available?
A: Yes, a bridal room will be available.

Q: Will a separate room for families with young children be available?
A: Yes, an area for families with young children will be available.

Q: Will there be a secure room for money counting?
A: The money counting will take place in the same room in which it currently takes place.

Q: What kind of HVAC system will be used?
A: An updated system, similar to the HVAC that has successfully supported St. Benedict Church for the last 16 years, will be utilized.

Q: Will we still project the liturgy on screens, and how will that happen?
A: Yes, lyrics, responses and slides will continue to be projected during liturgies. We will be working with an A/V engineer to identify the best solution to allow all parishioners to see.

Q: What steps are being taken to ensure good acoustics?
A: An acoustical engineer is in the budget to ensure good acoustics for the redesigned Church.

Q: What are the dimensions of the Sanctuary?
A: The video appears to show a long distance from the last row of seats to the Altar. We will check the measurement to confirm the length of the Altar. Space is needed between the first pews and the Altar to accommodate funerals. We will ensure we have appropriate space.

Q: Will the renovation of the existing building have space to accommodate Children’s Liturgy of the Word during Mass, St. Vincent de Paul storage, and office spaces for Parish Staff?
A: Yes. The Chapel in the redesigned building will sit up to 100 people which will easily accommodate Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays. St. Vincent De Paul will be relocated to one of the Annex rooms, which will give them more space than the current pantry, and the other Annex rooms will be used for meetings and programs. The current office spaces will remain in place so the Parish Staff will not be affected.

Financial / Budgetary

Q: How much money has been collected and put aside for the building fund to date?
A: We currently have collected $2.4M from the Living Our Faith, Building Our Home building campaign.

Q: What is the remaining balance of the original Living Our Faith, Building Our Home capital campaign?
A: Currently, $774,000 remains outstanding in pledges that still need to be collected from the campaign.

Q:How does the current balance impact the revised budget?
A: We will use the cash at hand from the Living Our Faith, Building Our Home capital campaign, plus some parish savings and, most likely, a small loan to ensure we can break ground in November 2021.

Q: Will the parish utilize the existing environment (Altar, Ambo, Crucifix above the Altar, chairs, etc.) prior to purchasing new ones?
A: A number of existing pieces from the current environment may be repurposed, however a new Altar will be built. New pews will be placed in the main Church and the current chairs will be used in the Chapel.

Q: The new items are not in the current pledge budget. Do you anticipate additional pledge drives for these items?
A: We do not anticipate another building campaign. Instead, we are looking at ways to encourage parishioners to pay off their outstanding pledges, as well as reach out to new and existing parishioners who have not yet participated in the original campaign.

Leadership and Contacts

Fr. James Aboyi, VC, Pastor
Bob Prezkop
Ed Winkelbauer