Expanding the Library into the Lovell Library & Lounge
Friends, I wanted to alert you to a few upcoming building improvements:
I have desired for the last few years to somehow expand the meeting room since we have had the fortunate problem of needing more space on many occasions for both student and permanent community events. The only real way to do that given our building’s design is to create another “wing” of the meeting room in the current library space. It would allow for more space for Sunday night dinners and other large events, and with some reorientation of the focal point of the room, would allow for larger crowds for meetings and presentations. While I was not initially planning on this change this coming year, the reality of COVID and the need for social distancing at gatherings prompted me to start the discussion earlier. I wanted to make sure it was financially viable and also that the library collection was not displaced.
The decision was also made to include the current Conference Room in the new enlarged space as an overflow for large gatherings and as more of a casual lounge space connected with the library. I initiated a conversation with our staff, with our library volunteers, and with the parish finance council. Everyone has been supportive of the idea and thinks it both enhances the spacing for large gatherings but also brings about greater awareness and interest in the library.
A few things to note as you look at the drawing:
Phase 1 (to be done asap) includes simply the demo of the two walls and the moving of all library shelving to the perimeter of the current library space and the new lounge.
- We do have to condense some of the books as we will have some reduced shelving capacity; we are “weeding” out some of the books and will make them available at some point in the future at a parish book fair when more people are attending church
- My goal is to have this part done as soon as possible so that the room is functional this semester for larger gatherings or Sunday night dinners when we are unable to eat outside
Phase 2 (hopefully over winter break) involves adding sliding walls to a few of the places where permanent walls stood. This allows us flex space to rearrange the larger space into a number of smaller meeting rooms
Phase 3 (probably next summer) involves syncing the design of all the rooms and increasing technological capability We are still getting estimates on the various aspects of this project, but we plan on paying for it out of room we have in our capital expense budget for this year.
We are still getting estimates on the various aspects of this project, but we plan on paying for it out of room we have in our capital expense budget for this year.
Corridor Connecting the Worship Space to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel
The other project I’ve proposed for this year is a corridor that connects the east door of the main body of the church to the Blessed Sacrament chapel. The two are directly across from one another and separated by landscaping. I see a number of benefits to this project:
- Greater exposure to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for purposes of private prayer
- Allows easy access to the tabernacle for retrieval of hosts at Mass
- For Mass in which hosts are used, the retrieval of the ciborium from the tabernacle is quite inconvenient with the current distance
- Allows for the moving of the egress doors and a better cleared fire exit strategy from the main body of the church
- Provides an emergency exit for students praying in the chapel after hours
- Our students have access to the Blessed Sacrament chapel 24/7 with a keypad and often use it for private prayer after hours.
- Currently, they are trapped in the chapel if someone would figure out a way in through that door. This would give them an exit if they felt concerned in any way.
Again, we are still working on estimates and bids for this project. Depending on the backlog of construction companies, this might be delayed until later in the year. This project will likely exceed our capital budget for this year, so if this project is meaningful to you, feel free to make a specific donation to the “Blessed Sacrament Project.”
We are so blessed with incredible facilities here at Corpus Christi. I know that these projects will enhance the opportunities that our parish offers to students and permanent community alike.