In follow-up to our May communication, over the Summer and Fall, a Building and Planning Committee was formed and has been meeting to address the issue of the lighting in the Church as well as the electrical issues.  In looking to address these issues, the committee has made several discoveries about the Church building:

  1. With the help of an outside consultant from the State it has been determined that the current light fixtures of the Church will continue to short out any light bulb replacements. The cost of retrofitting the current fixtures to LED is similar to the cost for new fixtures and the committee has determined it necessary to replace them.
  2. The north wall in the Sanctuary has severely damaged insulation which is allowing condensation to get in the wall and ceiling, which caused water damage and mold
  3. Adding to the issues with the north wall, parts of the north foundation and stairwell are cracked and moved. These foundation problems must be fixed to maintain the safety of the building.

The Committee determined; we cannot fix the lights in the Church without dealing with these larger issues.

All of us want the Church of Saint Olaf to continue to be a place where we can come to celebrate Mass, holidays, socialize with others, and enjoy the many other special events that are so important to our parish.  These celebrations and opportunities for fellowship require a Church that is structurally sound and space to experience Christ in the Eucharist and each other.

The Building and Planning Committee has investigated two options to address these problems while beautifying the Church.

Option 1:  Make major changes by adding a 30ft addition to the North incorporating long standing wish-list projects for the parish such as expanding the kitchen in the basement, adding additional pew space, and renovating the Sanctuary, updating the Nav and church lighting.

Option 2: Keep the same building footprint. Replace the north stairway to the basement and any foundation that is damaged. Fix any issues with the north wall, renovate the Sanctuary, and update the Nav and Church lighting.

After much discussion, prayer, and conversation with our contractors and designers the committee believes that an addition is not the right direction for Saint Olaf.  We are moving forward with option 2 and have received renderings from our design and construction company, Church Interiors.  We are still awaiting bids from local contractors.

While this may seem to be a daunting task, the discovery of these problems gives us the opportunity to consider not just the needed fixes but the opportunity to build the best future for the Church of Saint Olaf. We are continuing to gather information for this project and in the coming months will be having meetings with the parish to dive into the details of the project and answer any parishioner questions. We welcome your feedback as we consider what is best for our parish and our members.

Church of Saint Olaf Building and Planning Committee,

Amanda Marks         Dominic Blume            Father Jeremy           Nancy Jennen

Barb Estrem              HollyJo Wevley         Julie Larson            Tim Johnson

Diane Grout               Greg Styba                 Matt Allen               Scott Biss