St. Aloysius parishioners look long-term

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A multi-purpose room on
the second floor adjacent to Hartmann Hall is one area which was featured on the St. Aloysius tour
Monday. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

Parishioners of all ages at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Bowling Green gathered Monday night for
Convocation II.
The convocation focused on long-term planning for the parish, including the church, the school and other
parish facilities. Organizers of the event made it clear to those in attendance the evening was a
listening session for both sides.
Those attending would learn of some of the planning work which was done and possibilities on facilities
including renovations, additions or other changes to the buildings and services. More importantly, the
church and school officials wanted to hear from the parishioners as to what was most important to them.

According to Denise Foos, business manager, the highest priority of those who attended was church
renovation. Also receiving high marks was the need for school renovations and improvements and a
gathering space.
Following the meal a short presentation was given on some overall aspects before small groups toured the
existing buildings.
For many of those attending their eyes were opened to many of the "needs" as well as
"wants" and "desires" to improve the facilities for what was estimated to be more
than 1,700 events held each year. Current totals show 3,500 members of the church in 1,200 households. A
staff of 44 employees serves the school and church.
Linda Amos, who helped coordinate the project showed diagrams of possible construction projects. She
stressed this was only a first draft of proposals.
"These are only pieces of paper, they can be torn up," she said assuring those in attendance
nothing was firmly planned.
Overall, one of the biggest challenges is the different elevations across the campus. Those who went on
the tour witnesses for themselves, the number of stairs which had to be negotiated to get from one part
of the church campus to another.
Though many realized the challenges involving Hartmann Hall, others were introduced to the constraints
because of its high demand. The meal and opening general session was held in this facility which truly
exemplifies a multi-use facility.
The primary function of the hall during weekdays is for the school, where it is used as both a gymnasium
and lunchroom.
When there is a funeral during the week, luncheons for the family and friends are often held in Hartmann
Hall. Thus mourners are found sharing the space with the students.
Evenings and weekends, the space is used for a wide variety of other events by any number of different
groups or organizations.
Andrea Puhl, principal of the school, shared a top 10 list of needs for the school including updated
windows, air conditioning, storage and technical updates to continue to allow the teachers to use the
latest teaching tools and advancements.
Evenings and weekends, the space is used for a wide variety of other events by any number of different
groups or organizations.
Andrea Puhl, principal of the school, shared a top 10 list of needs for the school including updated
windows, air conditioning, storage and technical updates to continue to allow the teachers to use the
latest teaching tools and advancements. Puhl noted how the outside appearance of the older building does
not properly reflect the modern and quality teaching which transpires inside.
She also noted the limited ventilation and lack of air conditioning provides a sometimes harsh
environment for both students and technological equipment.
Inside the church there were pictures of ornate artwork which at one time covered the walls of the
sanctuary area. Tour visitors learned of the possibility of the capability to restore that art.
One popular stop on the tour was Clare Hall. For those not familiar, Clare Hall was once the residence
for the religious sisters who were the teachers at the school. The upstairs rooms are small, however
renovation would be challenging as there are numerous bathroom complete with a lot of plumbing. Also
many of the walls are load-bearing making renovations of the facility more difficult.
Clare Hall also holds a small chapel which is a very popular place for many parishioners.
The chapel is frequently used for devotion before the Blessed Sacrament, as well as private prayer.
Those on the tour also were allowed to see the renovations to the rectory, directly across the street
from the parish. The parish priest, Father Mark Davis said he was very pleased with what has been done
with his renovated residence.
"We were very pleased with the attendance and everyone seemed positive and upbeat," Foos said.

She added they are stilling compiling comments before they take the next step in planning how to
implement and finance how to take the needs, the wants and the desires and turn them into reality.

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