St. Francis Solanus Parish breaks ground on new facility

St. Francis Solanus Parish breaks ground on new facility

St. Francis Solanus Parish in Quincy broke ground on a new Parish Center Saturday morning. The new center will be constructed and attached to the church and will serve as an event center for the St. Francis community.

It's an announcement members of the St. Francis Solanus Parish waited a long time to make.

"We're going to build a parish hall which is going to be attached to our parish here to the north," Bickhaus said. "It's going to hold anywhere from 250 to 300 people,you know, it's a place for us to have activities for the parish."

It's a two-story facility that will allow members of the church to hold various activities.

It's an addition St. Francis Parish Hall Committee Chairmen Mike Bickhaus says the church needs.

"There's really no space for us after church or etcetera that's convenient, you know for people to gather after church and this way they'll be able to come in right after church and access it," Bickhaus said.

Tracy Orne is a St. Francis parishioner.

Orne said the new center will give the St. Francis community a proper space to perform many of its programs.

"The parish center really is going to be the hub of all of our outreach and our fellowship for St. Francis Parish," Orne said. "So a lot of these things for a long time have been held in the school and smaller spaces in the church."

For many years, plans to build a new center have been talked about, but it wasn't until 2012 that some the parish's members put a plan in motion.

"It took root probably over two years ago,and we were just looking at what does the parish needsin the future and one of the things that came out of that was the parish hall," Bickhaus said.

After a few budget meetings, and a bequest from a parishioner, members of the parish finally came up with enough money to pay for a new facility.

"The Parish Center is $2.5 million dollars, and so parishioners and community members have contributed time, talent and treasure to help this be a reality," Orne said.

Orne said the Parish Center opens up an opportunity for the St. Francis Parish to invite more people to its events.

"It's really the future of the church if you think about it," Orne said. "It's a way for us to grow an already flourishing church to expand our message and Christ's message into the communities."

Bickhaus said construction of the Parish Center will begin the day after Easter.