Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Campaign will help restore, preserve one of Spokane’s ‘gems’

the Inland Register

(From the February 20, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Spokane’s St. Charles Borromeo Church, with its distinctive hyperbolic parabolic roof, was completed in 1960. (IR photo courtesy of St. Charles Parish)

St. Charles Parish has launched a capital fund-raising campaign to restore one of Spokane’s architectural gems, as well as get rid of rain-catching buckets on the church altar, in a confessional, and in the kitchen and school rooms and make other urgent repairs.

The goal of the drive is $676,392, a sum heavily weighted to roof repairs estimated at $400,000. All roof surfaces on the parish buildings, about 60,000 square feet, will be replaced, including a new liquid membrane on the unique church building, the world’s largest hyperbolic parabolic structure. That design means the three-inch-thick arched roof stands on only three legs. Designed in 1959 and completed in 1960, St. Charles Borromeo Church has attracted national and local architect and historic preservation groups over the years.

The capital campaign, called “Remembering Our Past, Building Our Future,” also seeks funds to repair and repaint interior walls and ceilings of the church, repair exterior masonry and address recarpeting the church and either repairing or replacing the pews.

“Repairing these buildings and restoring this architectural wonder is urgent and long overdue,” said Father Tom Connolly, St. Charles pastor, as he urged parishioners and friends of St. Charles to prayerfully consider major contribution pledges that can be spread over three years. Part of the work cannot wait that long, however, he said. The plan is to get started on the school roof repairs this spring, in hopes that much of the work will be completed before the start of the next school year.

St. Charles School was opened in 1951, with Mass celebrated for years in the school gymnasium. The school currently has 278 pre-school, elementary and middle school-aged children in attendance.

School and church leadership groups have studied facility needs for some time and merely patching the roof and other areas no longer is adequate. The parish has to tackle the restoration in a major way, and the time is now, Father Connolly said.

Assisting campaign teams of parishioners is Guidance in Giving, a national fund-raising consultant firm which recently helped the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes raise more than its $1 million goal for restoration work on parish buildings. Steering the campaign is Troy Anderson of the Guidance in Giving staff.

Campaign co-chairs are parishioners Gene Gosse and Donna Amsbury. Committee chairs include Lee and Dee Bayley, Theresa Siers, David and Tracy Rasley, Larry and Sandy White, Carol Recor, Paul McNabb and Richard Judd.

Persons interested and able to help with the campaign may send contributions to “St. Charles Capital Campaign” at 4515 N. Alberta, Spokane, WA 99205. The parish phone number is 327-9573.

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