The parish, located at 1395 Girard Drive, will create the new center by renovating two existing buildings and connecting them to a new building.
When the existing Willett Hall and Hendricks Hall are connected to the new structure the center will provide a 25,000-square -foot space. It will sit to the rear of the campus, between a green space and the school building.
Father Harris, pastor of St. Albert, called the expansion project exciting and said the parish has needed it for a long time.
“We are growing. The parish life center will give us more flexibility to reach out to the community,” he said.
Father Harris said the project “ties in with the idea of the new evangelization and with the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ (a papal document). It creates opportunities for us to do that in the parish and the community. That’s exciting and it’s the reason we exist.”
The planning of the new center took about three years and parishioners have donated $3.3 million dollars for the project.
“The people have a great spirit,” said Father Harris, adding that he’s grateful for the “outpouring of love and support” that has brought the project this far.
Hendricks Hall, which currently houses kindergarten and preschool classrooms, will be updated with new windows with screens, a new sprinkler system for fire safety, LED security lighting and new hot water heaters. A classroom will also be added, for a total of six — three for kindergarten and three for preschool.
Several smaller improvements will be made to Hendricks Hall to turn it into a “children’s building, allowing for academic excellence, social responsibility and spiritual growth,” a statement from the church said.
Willett Hall, which is the gymnasium, will get new practice courts.
The new building will house a multi-purpose room, featuring a full-service kitchen. Over all, the new center will create more space for hosting dinners, support groups, Bible study and retreats, conferences and diocesan events, said Father Harris.
It will also create opportunities for “intergenerational” events that are important to children’s ministry and St. Albert School,” he said.
Father Harris noted that St. Albert has won awards for energy efficiency — the latest being the Kilowatt Cup award presented in March by the Louisville Energy Alliance (LEA), a non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency and conservation.
He noted that the choice to renovate two buildings is part of being a “good steward” of resources, which is important to the parish community.
Construction is expected to start in September and finish in the summer of 2018.