Building Our Future Together

Our Story

In November 2014, Fr. Brian Konopa appointed a commission of parish members (listed below), chaired by Dn. Richard Sage, under the name "Building Our Future Together." The commission met for the first time in December 2014. That session and the first parish meeting in January 2015 were chiefly a review of the history of our parish and buildings. (You can read a chronology of events in our parish history from 1945 to the formation of the commission.) Also presented at the parish meeting was the video below, to enable everyone to understand the school building's present condition.

The commission then spent several months interviewing parish groups to firm up a list of facility needs and dreams. That list became the basis for evaluating three options:

A) Rehabilitate the existing school buildings
B) Dismantle the 1947 building, rehabilitate the 1956 wing, and build a new, one-story parish hall
C) Dismantle the school buildings and build a new, two-story parish hall and education center

All three options were given vigorous and thorough consideration. Doug Ramsey of HSR Architects provided design concepts and cost figures. Ultimately, the commission selected option C. This decision and and everything that went into it were shared with the parish in May 2015. Along the way, updates appeared frequently in the parish bulletin. We invite you to explore them in the bulletin archive. The May 2015 presentation (PDF) contains images and financial details.

Plans call for a building project of four phases (see below). We move forward, trusting that the Lord will inspire our giving and bless the work of our hands.

Master Plan in Four Phases

  1. Removal of the school building and construction of a storage shed were completed in 2016. Construction of a parking lot on the northeast corner of the campus was completed in June 2017.

  2. We began construction of the new parish hall in June 2017, with occupancy of the main floor expected in March of 2018. At this phase, the kitchen will be complete and the lower level unfinished.

  3. Finishing the lower level of the parish hall. The concept design calls for classrooms, rest rooms, and office and practice space for our musicians.

  4. Improvements in our church include repair of the stained-glass windows, organ, pews, and steeple. Also planned are a new sound system, replacement of the steam heating pipes with a hot-water system, and other liturgical improvements.

Commission Members

Original members of the commission included:
Deacon Richard Sage, chair
Chuck Berendes, attorney, parish trustee, and chair of the Pastoral Council
Betty Brendel, recording secretary
Bill Brendel, construction
Linda Elsen, financial secretary
Kathy Emmert, communications
Andy Foley, director of building and grounds
Linda Gillette, fundraising
Pat Houlihan, attorney
Bob Jansen, sound and lighting systems
Bob Jansky, communications
Jim Kirchner, construction
Bob Klar, plumbing and HVAC
Hank Klos, construction engineer
Fr. Brian Konopa, pastor
Paul Lansing, fundraising
Steve Orlan
Tiny Poellinger, electric
Kevin Renley, PE, construction engineer
Gloria Royer, code compliance and environment
Andy Schwartz, glass
Joseph van Oss, communications
Dave Wagner, trustee and chair of the Finance Council
Jim Wagner, plumbing and HVAC

Video: St. Thomas More School Today

An excerpt from our 1961 dedication book (PDF) tells the story of the school's early years. We prepared the following video so that parish members could have a look inside the school building after its closure.

     

Updated 5 July 2017