Chilton parish begins capital campaign with goal of $2 million

Proposed project includes interior, exterior church renovation

CHILTON — A major capital improvement program for Chilton’s Good Shepherd Parish was announced at all Masses Sept. 16 and 17.

Estimated cost of the total project, which will involve every building on the parish complex, is slightly over $2 million, according to Fr. Ryan Krueger, pastor. The campaign, “Today’s Devotion is Tomorrow’s Foundation,” has set a fund-raising goal of $2,044,000.

A major capital improvement campaign began last weekend at Good Shepherd Parish in Chilton. The century-old church has received only basic maintenance and upkeep over the years, according to campaign organizers. (File Photo | The Compass)

Many months and countless hours of study and research were carried out before the official announcement, according to campaign organizers. The mission was twofold: first, to list the projects that most urgently need attention and prioritize them according to need. Second, to determine if the parish can raise the money needed to implement the work.

That work, said organizers, has been completed with positive and optimistic conclusions.

Topping the needs list is the main church building, both interior and exterior. The 102-year-old building has received only the very basic necessities in maintenance and upkeep for decades and is clearly in need of major renovation, said campaign organizers.

Here are the proposed projects listed in order of their assigned priority:

  • Church exterior: $242,000. Replace church roof, gutters, flashings, downspouts and repair windows and tower bays. Also renovations to the west entrance to include expanding the lobby to allow for confessional remodeling and reduce cold air from entering the building.
  • Church interior: $417,000. Repair stained glass windows as needed. Patch and paint walls and ceilings, varnish and repair pews and kneelers, general refinishing of all wood trim. Replace carpet in designated areas and combine with ceramic tile. Install hearing loop system and rebuilt main organ.  Clean and touch-up statues.
  • HVAC: $375,000. One option, that includes central air, is a forced air system that eliminates radiators and water pipes. This system will happen only if funds are available.
  • Church basement: $112,000. Update and improve existing restrooms, replace freezer with high-efficiency unit, replace countertops and cabinets as needed.
  • Parish office renovations: $230,000. Rebuild northwest office into new adoration chapel. This would involve a new entrance and interior hallway security doors.  Also, modify kitchen area into file and storage area and adapt second floor for youth group activities. General remodeling would include HVAC, plumbing, flooring and painting.
  • School: $145,000. HVAC upgrades, carpet and stair tread replacement, various playground repairs and improvements and possible storage building for schools supplies, etc.
  • Convent: $114,000. Level building, fill in basement cavity, resurface footprint as needed to improve playground and provide safe student drop off/pickup point for vehicles.
  • Rectory purchase: $124,000. Repay parish reserve fund for purchase of pastor’s house.
  • Contingency and other campaign-related expenses: $285,000. Provide for unforeseen construction-related costs and other expenses.

The parish committee, headed by Terry Criter, is made up of parishioners who have expertise in a variety of disciplines.

Core committee members, aside from Criter and Fr. Krueger, are Gary Friederichs, Sharon Hoerth, Jim Holzer, Sandy Meyer, Kate Suttner, Sandy Winkel and Steve Woelfel. Winkel is also parish business manager.

A professional consulting firm, The James Company of Beloit, was hired to assure success in a project of this magnitude.

Parishioner input and feedback was an important part of the feasibility study. Forty-four one-on-one interviews, conducted by Tim McKearn of The James Company, were held with selected parishioners. Another 112 families responded by returning written questionnaires and more than 250 individuals attended informational meetings. In written responses, parishioners stated what projects they felt were most needed.

“I believe this plan reflects the feedback from the parish,” Fr. Krueger said in a cover letter announcing the project. “I suggested that while we value our history and the memory of all who worked so hard to bring us to this point in time, we don’t shy away from our responsibility to the present and future members of Good Shepherd or the community we serve. This plan stays true to that observation.”

The project was also reviewed and received the required approval of the Green Bay Diocese.

Fund raising will begin soon and will take many forms. Included will be presentations by selected individuals during Masses, mailings and personal calls.

In a brochure that will be made available to parishioners, various levels of gifting are described. Oct. 21-22 has been designated as “Invitation to Commit Weekend.” It has been set aside to encourage donation commitments. Parishioners will be asked to bring their completed commitment forms to Mass that weekend.

No construction can begin until 75 percent of the required amount for that phase of the project is in hand or has been pledged, said campaign organizers. Fund raising is likely to be spread out over three years.

To learn more about the capital campaign or to make a donation contact Sandy Winkel, (920) 849-9363.