Washington parish center to be dedicated

WASHINGTON — St. James Church and school are getting better connected.

A 10,000-square-foot center linking the two buildings will be dedicated July 25 during a 10 a.m. Mass with Bishop Martin Amos. The Mass also will celebrate Father Paul Appel’s installation as parish pastor.

St. James’ addition includes a fellowship hall to seat 120 people, a 3,000-square-foot basement, a youth room, meeting room and offices, which will provide more space for several parish staffers who’ve shared one office in the rectory.

Construction also included remodeling at St. James School to accommodate increasing enrollment. A wall between former school offices was torn down and the area converted into a classroom. The principal’s and secretary’s offices were moved into the lobby. School assemblies and morning prayers will take place in the handicapped-accessible fellowship hall, said Fr. Appel.

According to figures from the Davenport Diocese, enrollment in kindergarten through sixth grade rose from 86 to 111 over the past five years.

St. James parishioners broke ground for construction last July.

The parish has about 740 families.

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