Progress continues in our efforts to build a new church home for St. Katharine Drexel parishioners. Based on the positive response we received from our fall Capital Campaign (reaching 94% of our campaign goal), this spring was spent moving our church building project forward!
The building committee initiated development of the general “architectural program” for the church along with potential floor plans. The architectural program outlines the overall requirements for the number of seats and types of support spaces we need within the constraints of budget and overall footprint/size stipulated by the county’s Special Use Permit.
Preliminary floor plans were developed to accommodate at least 350 people, plus provide office and limited meeting space, along with confessionals, cry room, and other spaces. We hope to complete the architectural program, floor plan, and elevations by June. Those items will be used as inputs to the preliminary design.
Site design activities continued through our civil engineering firm, Ross-France. Various soil and hydrology (e.g., water well capacity) investigations were performed along with fire protection and site utility engineering required by the county. By late summer, we are hoping to receive approval on the site development permit, submitted to Prince William County in November 2018.
The building committee intends to start the selection process this summer to identify a design and construction team to prepare the preliminary design. We anticipate selecting a team by early fall. The result of the preliminary design will be a more detailed plan and refined cost estimate needed to evaluate financing and affordability for our $6M budget.
Apart from design activities, we also entered into discussions with the Diocese about financing our project (i.e., obtaining a mortgage). Those discussions will give us parameters as to what debt we can afford and will be used to help us finalize our design and construction approach. In a project like this, it is normal for design and financing activities to occur in parallel to inform affordability and features of our church.
How you can help us continue moving forward
We are pleased to report that we are making steady progress. This project will only happen, however, if we all continue to fulfill our pledges. If you have not participated in the Capital Campaign, we urge you to do so. We would very much appreciate your support in helping us make a new church home for the St. Katharine Drexel parish community.
Chairman, Building Committee