NAPOLEON — The walls of the new St. Augustine Center were put into place here Tuesday, marking another step forward in the St. Augustine Catholic Church “Building and Sustaining Our Legacy” capital campaign.
According to Rev. Doug Garand of St. Augustine’s, the campaign, which kicked off in 2019, has raised $715,000, and has the rest of the $1.1 million needed pledged ($385,000), to erect the building (which is necessary according to guidelines set forth from the Diocese of Toledo to start a building project).
“It’s amazing to see it go up so fast,” said Garand on the site of the build on Tuesday. “The building was pre-built at the Wausau Homes plant (in Wausau, Wis.), before being trucked here. They arrived at 6 a.m. this morning with the building panels that are wrapped and have the windows already installed. Rupp Rosebrock of Napoleon is the local builder for Wausau Homes in northwest Ohio, in fact, this building is the first project Rupp Rosebrock has done with Wausau Homes.
“It’s humbling and inspiring that people have come forward with their resources to make this building happen,” continued Garand. “They saw a need so that we could not only continue our ministries, but hopefully expand the ministries of the parish. This space will allow us to do more with our parishioners, to help them grow in the faith and to grow in their relationship with God.”
The St. Augustine Center, a 7,000-square-foot facility which is being built on Clinton Street across from St. Augustine Catholic Church, will include staff offices; storage areas; the St. Monica Meeting & Gathering Room (named for the mother of St. Augustine); the St. Ambrose Meeting Room (who baptized St. Augustine); the St. Anthony Meeting Room (who influenced St. Augustine); bathrooms; a warming kitchen; and the church’s St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.
While watching crews move panels into place Tuesday morning, a parishioner of St. Augustine Catholic Church stopped his truck in the street to tell Garand he appreciated the Gothic windows of the structure, which mirror the Gothic windows of the church.
That parishioner even joked to Garand that they needed stained glass.
Said Garand: “I told him I was going to call him for a donation to pay for the stained glass, and he joked, ‘I don’t have the same phone number!’”
The windows of the center are just one feature that will mirror the church. The outside of the center will have the same stone and brick found on the outside of St. Augustine’s.
In addition, the “Building and Sustaining Our Legacy” capital campaign is continuing to raise money for brick replacement on the church steeple; the installation of new windows at St. Augustine Catholic School (located next to the church); the replacement of the lift at the church with an elevator; as well as painting, pew restoration and new flooring for the church.
Repairs to the roof of St. Augustine Catholic School were completed this summer, with the work done by Damschroder Roofing of Fremont.
With the former mobile units that housed the church offices and the food pantry removed to make room for construction, the church has been renting space at the Vocke Building in downtown Napoleon, while the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry has moved to North Perry Street.
In all, $1.2 million of the $2.3 million needed for all projects has been raised/pledged to date.
“The center is expected to be completed by April ... it’s the finish work (inside) that takes the most time,” said Garand. “The plumbers, electricians, the dry wallers, all that takes time. We’re hoping and praying it will be done sooner, and if they deliver it earlier, it will be a bonus.
“This project is just starting, and we still have other projects we would like to get done,” added Garand. “We’re very mindful of the budget, we don’t want any surprises, and we’re continuing to push forward. We’re thankful to have cost savings and time savings by going through Wausau Homes, but there’s still plenty of work ahead.”
Garand is very appreciative for the support the capital campaign has received, and he is hopeful the final goal will be reached to complete all projects.
“I would like to thank everyone who has participated in making the St. Augustine Center a reality, especially for their generosity and having a vision for the future for St. Augustine,” said Garand. “But like I said earlier, there’s still more work to do, and I look forward to the day when we finish all our projects.”
To learn more about the project, or to donate, call 419-592-7656 or go to www.staugie.net.