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STM Capital Campaign: 
Building the City of God –
Here and Now 

  

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UPDATE - JUNE 30, 2020


Almost two years ago, our parish launched the Building the City of God – Here and Now Capital Campaign to remodel our church undercroft, make our campus fully accessible, and replace exterior windows and electrical facilities in the school building. To date, the capital campaign has received approximately $4.1 million in pledges or donations and we have collected over $2.5 million of that total.

Completed Projects


School windows – completed this spring, the project has dramatically improved the appearance of the school building and improved the comfort and energy efficiency of our campus. Total project cost:  $1.1 million.


School electrical
– completed last fall, this project improved the school’s electrical facilities, including new circuit breakers and control panel. Total project cost:  $88,000.

Ongoing Projects

 

School lighting – started this spring, this project will replace existing classroom lighting with new LED lighting, improving the quality of lighting while reducing energy costs in the school.  Total project cost: $200,000. 


School Accessibility
– bids for modernization of the school elevator are under review and work will commence shortly on a complete modernization of the school elevator. Total project cost:  $140,000. 

Church Accessibility – plans to improve accessibility of the church and parish center are key to design of a beautiful new entrance and gathering space that will connect the church and parish center, provide accessibility to all levels of both buildings and add much needed bathrooms on two levels.

Church Undercroft – the final piece of the building projects has been designed to take advantage of the existing beauty of our undercroft, while upgrading lighting, flooring and fixtures.  Plans also call for new serving and meeting areas within this space.  When completed, the project will provide a fully functioning space for meetings, gatherings, and programs, immediately adjacent to new bathrooms and elevator.

Total project cost for church accessibility and undercroft: $4.2 million.


Project Funding

 

The capital campaign committee has identified a gap between projects and funding of approximately $1.7 million.  To bridge that gap, we are considering a combination of sources, including additional fundraising, debt and use of existing capital reserves.  We are also considering phasing plans for the final improvements until funds are secured.


Construction Start


Given the impact of the pandemic on our community, we are delaying the start of construction from fall of 2020 to spring of 2021. Construction plans will be completed this summer and permitting will begin as soon as project funding is secured.

 

Thank You


Thank you to those who have supported these projects financially and through your gifts of time! As we keep momentum going on our capital projects in the coming year, please remember that gifts made in support of the capital campaign are tax deductible. Thank you for your financial support, help and prayers for this campaign! Together, we are making a major impact for generations of parishioners and students.

 



CAPITAL CAMPAIGN TEAM


Campaign Co-Chairs: William Griffith & Tiernee Murphy

Campaign Consultants: Michael & Whitney Davy - Mark Davy & Associates

Campaign Committee: Jim Fennell, Julius Gernes, Ken Goodpaster, Pat Lofton, Meghan Mohs, Tracy Pirozzolo, Mike Sarafolean, Fr. Warren Sazama, S.J. (Pastor), Phil Steger, Kate Theobold, & Steve Thomas

 




Q&A

1. Why are we doing a capital campaign?


The purpose of this capital campaign is to raise funds which will upgrade Saint Thomas More’s facilities. This is a special fundraising effort for initiatives we are unable to pay for through our annual operating budget.

 

2. Does our parish support moving forward with a capital campaign?


Saint Thomas More recently enlisted a fundraising consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study. All parishioners and school parents were asked to participate through interviews and surveys. Results indicated that many are willing to volunteer and 88% of participants said “yes” or “would consider” making a gift, indicating broad support.

 

3. What is the campaign goal and how long will it last?


The feasibility study results estimated that Saint Thomas More has an ability to raise a minimum of $2 million over a three‐year period, above and beyond our annual giving. We will also need an increase in annual giving to fund yearly operations. A parish education process is underway and will continue throughout the next few of months. At this time, our plan is to distribute and collect commitment cards for the annual stewardship and capital campaign in October and November. The annual stewardship commitment is for one year and is directed towards parish operations. We are encouraging a three year capital campaign commitment above and beyond your regular giving. Please do not take away from your regular giving to make a capital campaign gift.

 

4. What initiatives will be completed through this campaign and what is the priority order?

 

  • Remodel Undercroft and Provide Greater Accessibility - Saint Thomas More’s facilities provide limited space for the many groups and activities taking place at our parish. The vision includes remodeling our undercroft for multi‐purpose social and meeting space. Remodeling the undercroft will include a new kitchen to provide necessary functions for receptions and banquets, funeral luncheons, Ignatian and Jesuit speaker events, as well as hosting programming for parishioners and guests of all ages. It is important that our entire facility is accessible for all parishioners and guests. There is currently no handicapped accessibility to the undercroft, and Saint Thomas More only has one accessible restroom. Along with the remodel, we plan on including an elevator to provide church worship space and undercroft access. We would also like to add additional handicapped accessible restrooms.

  • Replace Exterior School Building Windows - These windows have passed their life expectancy and need to be replaced before further damage occurs. This initiative would include replacing all windows throughout the school building. The Capital Campaign Committee will keep you informed throughout the next few months through pulpit announcements, mail, email and other forms of communication. We will also hold gatherings to offer additional opportunities for questions and answers.

5. When will the facility maintenance and enhancement projects be completed?


This depends on how much we are able to raise and the timeliness in which dollars are collected. We hope to begin as soon as possible and will keep parishioners and school parents updated on progress throughout the three year campaign.

 

6. Will we use any money from the West Campus (formerly Immaculate Heart of Mary) sale for these projects?


Saint Thomas More does not plan to use this fund for capital campaign improvements. Funding acquired from the sale of Immaculate Heart of Mary property is designated to maintain our facilities. The parish leadership would like to save this for future maintenance and upkeep rather than spending it on capital projects. Keeping this fund intact will ensure our ability to maintain the upgrades made through this campaign.

 

7. If these projects don’t affect me personally, why should I support a campaign?


Saint Thomas More serves as a “conduit” or extension of our individual faith life. As parishioners and parents of students, we are part of an extended family which is called upon to actively support an array of worship, education, social outreach, fellowship programs and activities. As a family member each of us provides tangible support for all needs within the family, not just those which are important to us. This is the expectation of discipleship in following our Lord.

 

8. Who will be asked to participate in a campaign?


Each parishioner will be sent the same campaign information and most importantly every household will be asked to participate through giving and volunteering. “Not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice,” is the philosophy that best describes this effort. Not everyone can make the same size gift, but everyone has an ability to make a prayerful commitment.

 

9. With other campaigns currently underway in the community, is this the right time for Saint Thomas More to conduct this effort?


There is never an ideal time for a campaign due to the constant economic ebb and flow as well as other Twin Cities and Catholic Community campaigns. Saint Thomas More has needs that it must address and we have not conducted an effort like this for decades. Parish leadership hopes all will participate in this effort by making a gift to the best of their ability.

 

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