COLUMBUS, Neb. – Parishioners at St. Bonaventure’s Catholic Church will soon have many more opportunities to socialize, once their $5.2 million renovation is complete.
The church, located on 18th Ave. between 15th and 16th St., will expand three major entities for church goers: a parish center, the front entrance space and parking.
“There’s really a lot of excitement now and I think our parishioners are to the point of, ‘lets get started,” says project manager Dennis Grennan.
The church recently cleared one major hurdle when the city council approved for the parish to take over 16th St. from 16th Ave. to 18th Ave.
The church already owns all the housing properties on that street and plans to eventually demolish them to give way for the parish center and a larger parking lot, to make it easier on their 1700 parishioners.
“I can say we’ve gotten by, but we could not do this addition without additional parking,” says Grennan.
Arguably the biggest part of the project is a new parish center, which currently only houses around 100 people and is used for small meetings. The new one will be 7,000 sq. ft., allow for 350 people and have a full kitchen to allow for large social gatherings.
“This is not about brick and mortar, this is about building community at St. Bonaventure, now it takes facilities to allow that to happen,” says Grennan.
The church, which was built in the 1800’s, will keep its signature steeple but will have its front portion pushed forward. That renovation will make way for the enhanced gathering space for church-goers.
“So we will be moving the entrance out into the current parking lot, the other major thing they’re going to do is raise the parking lot to eliminate the steps going into the church,” says Grennan.
As for a timeline, the church expects to begin construction in the spring of next year, with completion set for 2020.