St. Agnes celebrates
new parish center,
expanded school

People began to gather around St. Agnes Church’s new parish center prior to its blessing Sept. 19. The parish recently completed the new center and expanded its school, opening its preschool program to three-year-olds. (Photo Special to The Record by Jay May)

St. Agnes Church has dreamed about building a parish center and expanding its school for nearly eight years. On Sept. 19, between the Sunday Masses, parishioners saw both of those dreams — and their thousands of brick and mortar square footage — blessed by the Passionists who operate the parish.

“It is the work of many people; it is the dream of many years for this campus,” said Passionist Father Justin Nelson Alphonse, pastor. “Almost eight years of hard work in terms of planning and visioning. This is the fruit of that.”

The $4.8 million construction project added more than 18,000 square feet to the campus between the two new structures, according to the parish.

The two-story parish center is 10,300 square feet. It includes a large gathering space and a warming kitchen, new offices for the parish staff, a conference room, historical archives for the parish and school and a workspace for the parish quilters.

The two-story school addition totals about 8,100 square feet. The additional space enables the school to expand its preschool offerings to three-year-old students. The space will house the three- and four-year-old classrooms, new office space for school staff, the After School Care Program and a play center.

Father Alphonse noted that during the pandemic, the parish community wondered at one point if the projects should be postponed.

Ultimately, he said, “The community felt like we should move forward.”

“It’s not only an extension, it’s a sign of growth, not only for the parish community, but also for the school in the midst of a pandemic,” he said. “There is a strong community bond. We’re very proud of the St. Agnes community.”

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Marnie McAllister
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