In spite of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, St Andrew Catholic Church in inner North/Northeast Portland, has secured more than 50 percent of their $3.4 million dollar modernization project.
According to church officials, the project's fund-raising campaign has received pledges totaling more than half a million from church members and a substantial grant from the Terrell Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.
When completed, the over 8,000 square-foot expansion of the facilities on its NE 8th and Alberta campus will allow St. Andrew Catholic Church to respond more effectively to the more than 7,000 people who turn to it annually for emergency services of food, clothing, furniture, utility and rent assistance. Most of the families served are non-Catholic and live at or below the federal poverty level.
"This expansion will provide the facilities to accommodate the growth of our community, and the number and variety of services we provide," said Fr. Charles J. Lienert, pastor of St Andrew. Another plus, said Lienert, is that the project will lay the foundation for future initiatives and activities that will further the mission of the St. Andrew community.
Developed from a Master Plan process that began in 2004, the expansion of facilities will include:
A new 3,000 square foot building for Community Services and Offices – new offices, flexible space and storage; enlarged food storage and service area; new eco-roof courtyard; welcoming office and lobby; and improved Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access throughout the campus.
A 2,000 square foot addition to the present Community Center – large, flexible meeting room; new childcare center; a new community kitchen; and new ADA restrooms.
A 3,300 square foot addition to the Jesuit-run St. Andrew Nativity Middle School – two new fifth grade classrooms added so the school can serve younger students; graduate support and health classrooms; five new religious education classrooms; and, a new central courtyard.
The $3.4 million project will be financed through parishioner contributions over a three-year period, sale of a nearby building owned by the parish, a commitment from St. Andrew Nativity School, and grants and donations from foundations and friends of St. Andrew. More than 75 parishioners are working on the fundraising campaign, which is taking place in addition to the many other programs already underway at St. Andrew.