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December 2018 FAQ


Holy Infant Catholic Church has been a parish since 1970. Over time, the membership has grown to a point where the existing structure has become inadequate to support the needs of the parish. This includes the worship, fellowship, and educational areas. After extensive research, the church agreed to build a new structure to meet the needs of the larger parish. This project was approved by the Diocese, and a capital campaign obtained commitments for the necessary funds for the first stage of Phase I of the development.

This document contains questions and answers that address aspects of the building project. The document will be updated as new questions are asked, updated information is available, or changes in the project are put in place.

Section A: Building/Structure

Question: It has been awhile since we have heard an update on the project. Are we still building a new church?

Answer: Yes. The project was delayed due to a number of factors with the design and other aspects, including a cost estimate that exceeded our budget by more than 50%. Right now, our focus is to get the costs back in line with our original budget estimate. Our goal is to ensure we construct the church to meet the needs of our congregation today, tomorrow, and the next several decades.

Question: What is the timeline for the project?

Answer: We will share the timeline once the design is approved and we have a groundbreaking date set. As of right now, we estimate it will take 18-20 months, with good weather and no material shortages, for the project to be completed.

Question: When will we break ground for the new church?

Answer: We hope to break ground in mid 2019.

Question: Is there an assigned steering committee involved in the building of the new church?

Answer: We now have several teams working on the project. Fr. Robert is working closely with the Architecture, Capital Campaign, and Communications committees. We have expertise on each committee that will help us move forward with great confidence.

The volunteers working on this project are:

Architecture Committee: Mike Angeli, Kristi Beckert, John Degele, Bill Fitzgerald, Tom Mazzeo

Capital Campaign: Chris Woodward

Building design support provided by: Kathy Auten, Fritz Brussen, Joan Caccavelli, Bob Dieter, Jim Shannon

Communications Committee: Kathleen Moore—Chair, Dick Arsenault, Mike Pearl, Ray Zeillmann

If you would like to help with any of the committees, please call the office and speak to Sandy. Her number is 919.973.0008. She works on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. As of the date of this document, we have sufficient help for the committees; however, we will need additional volunteers as the project progresses. Watch for requests for help!

Question: Where can I find details for the new church layout?

Answer: The changes to the design are not yet final. We will share it once it is approved and final.

Question: Has the Value Engineering concept been used to finalize the details? Is that the reason for the delay?

Answer: The Architecture committee is reviewing the current design line-by-line. They are identifying areas where costs can be curtailed or eliminated so we stay as close to the original estimate as possible. Our goal is to have the expenses associated with the new building validated and understood before we break ground.

Question: Are we still waiting for permits from the city or county? How many permits do we need and when will everything be completed and approved?

Answer: Depending on what changes are made to the building design, we will reengage with the city for certain permits. We should know more about that step in the project soon; however, we expect any changes to the design will be close enough to the original footprint so the approval process will be shortened.

Question: On the original plan from the first architect, a temporary parking lot would be located behind the existing church and would have access to Southpark. Is this the new plan? Will the driveway impact “the shed” or the garden currently located next to the Parish Center?

Answer: There is a new schematic provided by Dunn & Dalton. Please refer to the website to see a copy. The garden will not be impacted.

Question: Does the plan for the new church include storage space for all the Liturgical decor items that are currently being stored in "the shed"?

Answer: Yes, storage is comprehended in the design.

Question: Will there be a ‘cry room,’ or some type of area, in the new church for young children who are unhappy being in the pew?

Answer: There will not be a separate cry room. Rather, the narthex is being set up for unimpeded view and sound so that parents can freely move about to help their child in whatever way they need. It will give them full access to all facilities like a family bathroom. They will also have free access to the nursery. Note: the narthex is the vestibule leading to the nave (the main part of the church)



Section B: Communications

Question: How will we learn of updates for the project?

Answer: The Communications committee will leverage every appropriate platform available to keep the parish informed of the progress. This includes videos on Connector, using the church’s website, Facebook page, weekly bulletin, even Twitter if that is how our congregation wishes to get the information. If you have suggestions on how else we can share information, please let any member of the Communications committee know your ideas!

Section C: Costs/Capital Campaign

Question: According to the church website, the total work is divided into 2 Phases. Phase I is focused on the immediate expansion needs of the parish. It is divided into three (3) stages:

  • Stage 1—Build a new church; fees, furnishings, and site prep to accomplish the work
  • Stage 2—Convert the existing church into a multipurpose building (this includes additional religious education classrooms), meditation garden and columbarium, and playground
  • Stage 3—Daily chapel

Phase II addresses the future needs of the parish. A new education and administration building have been identified as part of Phase II; however, there are currently no detail plans, schedule, or cost estimates for this future work. Are these still correct? Have any features for Stage 1 changed?

Answer: Yes, this is still the plan; however, the Architecture committee is investigating the option of doing the church, chapel and columbarium in the first phase. Once an evaluation is finalized, we will let the parish know if this change will happen. For more information, please see the campaign booklet and the May 2017 update.

Question: How much will this project cost the parish?

Answer: We began our Capital Campaign pledge drive in 2016 with a goal of reaching commitments of $3.31M for the first stage of Phase I. We achieved that goal and thus we anticipate having sufficient funds available for the first stage of Phase I. Pledge redemptions for the Phase I commitments have remained steady. As of October 2018, we have collected approximately $1.8M in pledges. Our planned financial package will include the Phase I pledge redemptions, savings, and an anticipated loan from the Diocese.

Question: I don’t have enough information to make a pledge. When will we know more about the project?

Answer: It’s fair to say we have not kept the parish informed very well but that’s about to change. A new Capital Campaign committee has been formed and will be sharing more information on the project to help answer all your questions. We will need the support of the entire parish to make this new church a reality.

Question: Should I expect another Capital Campaign to address the inflation increase due to the delay?

Answer: As of right now, our goal is to avoid having another campaign by eliminating as many nonessential costs as possible; however, we will let the parish know if another campaign is required.

Question: How much more money needs to be raised since we have had a delay in starting the construction?

Answer: Our budget for the project remains $8.3M. To keep costs under control, the Architecture committee is reviewing the design in great detail to identify where we can reduce or eliminate nonessential expenses.

Question: I have noticed that there is an additional effort to raise money for memorials for the new church. How much money has been collected so far?

Answer: There are 42 memorialization opportunities available for the new church. Some of these items have already been reserved. Please contact the parish office if you’re interested in learning how to memorialize items in the new structure.

Question: Who is holding the Capital Campaign money that has been raised?

Answer: The funds that have been raised and payments received are held in a Diocesan savings account and are restricted for new building purposes only.

Question: Are we earning interest on the Capital Campaign funds? If so, what have we earned?

Answer: Yes, the interest rate is 0.75%. We are required to hold our funds with the Diocese.

Section D: Growing the Congregation

Question: Holy Infant has been a parish in Durham for 48 years. We have always been a small but passionate church. What are we planning to do to attract new members to grow the congregation?

Answer: We continue to welcome new members every year. With ongoing residential development in the surrounding community, new members are joining our church by virtue of our location and accessibility.

The Facilities Needs Assessment Self-Study we completed showed we should plan to have 650 seats to address growth. Currently, we have 425 seats available at each Mass. The new design is built with a target of ~650 seats. With the new structure, we will gain 3 spaces, including an expanded fellowship area. By the change in design and how we use the space, we will also provide better interaction with fellow members of the parish, strengthen our community overall, and attract new members.

Question: Are the capacity numbers of 650 seats published in the self-study still valid?

Answer: We are seeing some growth at Holy Infant that tracks with the expectations that were shared in the self-study. The RTP area continues to grow and expand. Within just a few miles of Holy Infant, there are new subdivisions under development, and we are seeing people moving into the area from outside of North Carolina and across the city/state.

Question: Why does the daily chapel have to hold 100 people?

Answer: The target number of seats of 100 is based on the expected use of the space. The goal is to hold daily Mass, the children’s Liturgy of the Word, small weddings, small funerals, and Saturday baptisms in the daily chapel.

Section E: Miscellaneous

Question: When there is a town hall or general meeting, will we be able to read the slides?

Answer: We have been conducting our town hall meetings in the church with a projection system that is currently installed. This caused the criticism that the slides were not legible. We will work with the church administrative team on how to provide a presentation in the church that can be seen and read by the congregation.

Question: Are we planning to renovate the present church?

Answer: The present church will be renovated in Phase 1, Stage 2 so as to provide fellowship space and education classrooms. We need to complete the new church first so we continue to have a space for worship. Once we are in the new structure, we will turn our attention to renovating the current building.

Question: Who is investigating the option of purchasing rescued church artifacts? There are businesses that save assets from churches that have closed. Are we looking into what’s available to save costs and bring stories to Holy Infant at the same time?

Answer: The Architecture committee is aware of such resources; however, it has not been investigated yet. Managing costs for the building is the first priority.