By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT – With the congregation gathered, Bishop Martin Amos blessed Our Lady of Victory Parish’s newly completed building project that opened up much needed space in both the church and John F. Kennedy Catholic School. The dedication Mass took place Dec. 18 during the 9 a.m. Mass.
Judy Johnson, parish administrator, said the $3.4 million building project included a gathering space of approximately 5,000 square feet attached to the church, a permanent baptismal font inside the church, new church roof, new offices for the school and parish faith formation, four new school classrooms, renovation and expansion of the Early Childhood Learning Center, new restrooms in the school’s lower level and parking lot repairs for the parish and school.
The gathering space has an Americans with Disabilities Act restroom, kitchenette, multipurpose meeting room, open area where tables can be set up, an elevator and an unfinished room in the lower level. The church’s Marian window was relocated because of the building project, which converted the area into the entryway between the gathering space and church.
The permanent baptismal, which can accommodate infant and adult baptisms, has a stone tile font with wood accents to match the wood in the church.
New offices for the school and faith formation staffs and teachers’ lounge were added at the north end of the school. Four classrooms were added to the east side of the school. One will accommodate band and music, which previously used the cafeteria for practice.
“Thanks to a $50,000 Scott County Regional Authority grant, we were able to get rid of all the mobile classrooms,” Johnson said.
Downstairs a classroom was expanded for the Early Childhood Learning Center, which houses daycare for 3-5 year olds during the day and when school is not in session. Another area, once used as a priest’s residence, was converted into new restrooms.
Johnson said the parish took advantage of the construction time to take care of maintenance and safety issues that arose or would need addressing in the near future. The parish budgeted 5 percent for contingency work, but needed to use only about 1 percent.
Distressed areas of the parking lot were patched after the heavy construction equipment left. Because that work was finished later than expected, a new layer of asphalt and striping will be done in the spring.
The parish kicked off its campaign in March 2008. Architect and fundraising fees were included in the total. Architect for the project was Larrison & Associates; general contractor was Precision Builders, Inc.
In the dedication pamphlet, Msgr. James Parizek, pastor, said: “I believe that the Lord has been helping us in every way, from the original inspiration to create a gathering space and design the needed additions to our school, to the planning and implementing of our campaign of Growing Our Faith … Shaping Generations, and through the many facets of architectural development and actual construction of our beautiful additions.
“Today we give the Lord thanks and praise for what he has allowed us to build together.”