What is the project?
In planning for over 12 years, the project is to completely renovate St. Bernard School, demolish the old Parish Center, add a wing to the School, improve traffic flow, and expand parking. The project will expand the number of ministry and class meeting rooms to 13 including 3 large rooms to facilitate all Blessed Sacrament ministries, Faith Formation classes and the St. Bernard Preschool. It will provide handicapped access with an elevator, have central air conditioning and an up-to-date IT infrastructure to fit the needs of the parish well into the future. It will also allow more room in the current Rectory for additional priests as the parish grows. During the project, St. Bernard Preschool and St. Bernard Faith Formation classes will be held at Vernon Northeast School.
How will the project be funded?
The project is completely paid for through the generosity of St. Bernard benefactors over the last 25 years. There will be no Blessed Sacrament Offertory funds used or fund raising involved. Following Diocesan guidance, any gifts bequeathed to a specific Church in a parish must be used only at that Church, so the gifts are restricted to use only at St. Bernard honoring the intentions of the benefactors. Over the past 25 years, Mae Tobin, Frances Tierney and Arline Ramsdell bequeathed gifts to St. Bernard which were invested and planned for future renovation and improvements. Renovation planning was underway prior to yoking with St. Matthew but was put on hold, then further delayed for the merger. Now that the current and future needs of Blessed Sacrament Parish are better understood, final planning has been completed and the project is moving forward with permitting and contract bids. Providentially, the bequeathed funds were removed from the stock market seven months ago in preparation for the project.
When will this happen?
The Parish Center and School buildings are almost completely empty in preparation for the work which should begin this summer with opening planned for August 2021.
The project was approved following Diocese of Norwich requirements by the St. Bernard Trustees, Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Endowment Committee and the Diocese of Norwich Board of Consultors and Finance Council with final approval from Bishop Cote on March 16, 2020.
Click here to view the floor plans and site plan which are in the process of submittal for Town approval.
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