Why have we decided to re-build rather than renovate Corpus Christi School?

It was decided that spending multi-millions simply to bring the outdated 60-year-old building up to code is not a strategically sound use of God’s gifts, and leaves future generations with an aging building and a burden of repair and potential risk.

The better choice—the one with tremendous opportunity—is to rebuild the school from the ground up. The result will be a modern, two class per grade, purpose-built facility that will not only meet current and future needs but also stand as a legacy for our children and their children. We will make choices that better suit contemporary learning and our parish interests and profile.

 

Why is the work being done in stages and why is the school first?

This is a significant project and an ambitious goal, with improving safety for our school children as our number one priority. Given the financial scope of the complete project and considering the amount of time that students and staff spend at school, the desired option proposes approaching the work in two phases.

This is a significant project and an ambitious goal, with improving safety for our school children as our number one priority. Given the financial scope of the complete project and considering the amount of time that students and staff spend at school, the desired option proposes approaching the work in two phases.

 

Is the school safe today and in the near future for our children?

It’s a fact that Southwestern British Columbia lies on an active fault-line, making it the most earthquake-prone region of Canada. While our school is safe today, in the event of a major earthquake, it is not adequate. As an interim solution, we have recently installed an early earthquake warning system, which detects an earthquake and delivers a warning.
It’s a fact that Southwestern British Columbia lies on an active fault-line, making it the most earthquake-prone region of Canada. While our school is safe today, in the event of a major earthquake, it is not adequate. As an interim solution, we have recently installed an early earthquake warning system, which detects an earthquake and delivers a warning.

 

What role does the Archdiocese play in this project?

The Vancouver Archdiocese is committed to ensuring the 450,000 Catholics who work, worship and study in archdiocesan buildings are kept as safe as possible in the event of a major earthquake. A survey in Jan 2011 indicated that a majority of older churches, schools and parish halls require seismic retrofitting, and in fact, much of Corpus Christi is deemed to be high risk. As a result, churches have been mandated to develop comprehensive plans, including fund-raising plans, to update our facilities. The Archdiocese’s current priority is to support regional high schools.

The Vancouver Archdiocese is committed to ensuring the 450,000 Catholics who work, worship and study in archdiocesan buildings are kept as safe as possible in the event of a major earthquake. A survey in Jan 2011 indicated that a majority of older churches, schools and parish halls require seismic retrofitting, and in fact, much of Corpus Christi is deemed to be high risk. As a result, churches have been mandated to develop comprehensive plans, including fund-raising plans, to update our facilities. The Archdiocese’s current priority is to support regional high schools.

 

What are the estimated project costs and timelines?

Phase I

New Dual Stream School and Parish Hall
Proposed goal: $17.3 million
Pledged over 5 years
Once 75% of the goal is raised we can break ground.

Phase II

Seismic Updates to Church Building and Convert Rectory to Offices
Proposed goal: $8.5 million
Timeline will be dependent on when Phase I funding is complete.

 

What will the new school be like? Are there actual plans?

We have engaged the services of Dimas Craveiro, an architect who has experience designing schools in the Vancouver area and was the principal architect of St Patrick’s, to prepare preliminary schematics of the new dual stream (two classes per grade) school.

The school will not be luxurious, but it will be built to the latest standards with a view to serving parish families for the next 50 - 75 years.

A custom designed two class per grade facility will improve the quality of education for students, and will result in a more inviting and functional facility for staff, administrators, parents and the entire parish community. New school facilities will be built on existing school grounds, at the far side of the property allowing the present school to be used until the new school is ready for occupancy.

The new Corpus Christi school will include shared facility use between the school and the church and the field will be updated to an all-weather surface so that it can be used more frequently. The current gymnasium will be torn down and a new parish hall will be built under the new school gym.

 

Why are we building a parish hall under the school gym?

When we looked at the size of the school gym, it made sense to build a parish hall under the gym. Building the parish hall under the gym means that we will be able to save costs.

 

Why are we selling land?

We have looked at all options to fund the school and parish hall and given that we are blessed with land that we currently do not use, it made sense for us to unlock this value and use the funds to support the building of the new school and parish hall.

This decision was not made lightly. At the parish level, we had the unanimous support of the finance, building and pastoral committees, which then allowed us to approach the Archdiocese for approval in principle. Now that we have approval from RCAV, the protocol is that paperwork is forwarded to the Holy See for formal Vatican approval.

By selling one acre of land (17% of our current land holdings), we have moved our timeline forward about 15 years. Without this tremendous cash injection, we would be fundraising for about 10-15 years before we had the funds to start building. We are now on the way to having our parish hall and new school built within 5 years.

 

Who will be asked to support this Campaign?

Clearly this is an ambitious undertaking for our parish, and one that will require a community-wide effort, support from the all the parish and school families. Providing for the safety of our school children and the entire parish is not debatable. Together, with everyone’s participation and thoughtful sacrificial giving we will realize our vision.

 

How can I support this Campaign?

Please carefully and prayerfully consider your personal commitment and involvement as initial gifts to this campaign are of critical importance. Large and early gifts will help encourage others to participate, and are indicative of how much we can raise overall.

You can make a donation or a pledge to campaign through the parish office. Examples of ways to give:

  • One-time gifts that can take the form of a wide range of financial vehicles including automatic monthly deposits, credit card payments, the transfer of stocks and mutual funds
  • Matching gifts through payroll deduction at your place of work
  • Gifts made in memory or in honour of a loved-one
  • Annual gifts can be pledged over the course of two - five years
  • Consider a planned gift such as leaving a gift in your will or RRSP to Corpus Christi Parish or
    Gift of insurance, capital asset transfers, annuities or life insurance policies

Prior to making a gift, we recommend that donors receive independent professional advice about the possible financial, taxation and legal consequences of doing so.

 

How does a Capital Campaign affect regular fundraising within the Parish and the School?

While the Campaign is active, regular Corpus Christi school fundraising initiatives, such as Spring Picnic, will continue because these fundraisers support unique school projects that are not covered through regular funding. Any surplus funds raised will be applied to Our Faith, Our Future, Our Legacy Capital Campaign.

Within the parish, weekly collections and support for Project Advance and Chancery operations will continue, maintaining our basic funding requirements, and operational expenses. Over and above these contributions (including the building fund), 100% of money that comes back through Project Advance is to our parish.

 

How will the Campaign be managed?

In the early days of the campaign, we have contracted the services of a fund-raising consulting firm, to act as Campaign counsel in the set-up and preparation phase. To get us to where we are now, we hired a Campaign Director to work with us to develop and unroll a strategy to fund our first phase. Now that we are on track, we will be managing the remainder of the campaign through our steering committee.

 

How will the project be communicated to stakeholders?

Through a variety of communication vehicles such as Parish bulletins, messages from the Pulpit, School enews, a designated website, and parish update meetings.

 

When can we start fundraising?

We are now in the public phase of our campaign. Our steering committee will be working with parishioners to ensure funds continue to be donated for the renewal of our church building.

 

Where will the funds be held while we wait for the building to begin?

All donations to the Capital Campaign fund will be held in a separate account at the Parish. When the account reaches an appropriate level, the funds will be transferred to the Archdiocese so it can be invested to reap higher returns.

 

What is the difference between the Building Fund and Capital Campaign Fund?

In the past, Building Fund was used for general maintenance and special building projects for our parish buildings. While we will still continue to use these funds for this purpose, we will be transferring any large single donations ($1,000+) into our Campaign account. If you would like make a specific donation to our Campaign to renew our parish buildings, please mark “Capital Campaign” on your cheque or envelope. All donations to Capital Campaign will be deposited into a separate account and funds will not be used for anything other than the renewal of our buildings.

 

Why doesn’t the parish put in a daycare to generate revenue?

Our new school incorporates plans for a daycare facility. Following a model that other schools use, this daycare will be run by a third party operator. The parish/school will then be a landlord and the daycare will be the tenant.