St. Jude Thaddeus Parish and School is currently undergoing construction for a new parking lot and playground.
The playground and parking area have been a source of displeasure for some time now.
The Rev. Daniel Wathen, pastor at St. Jude’s said, “part of the problem with the parking lot is it’s disintegrating.”
The asphalt was laid directly over the ground, and over time, has shifted and settled, causing crumbling.
Water management is particularly difficult, because the asphalt has moved, and water pools and stands instead of running off.
“Our goal is to get a parking lot that functions,” said Wathen.
The playground project has another objective, as the current playground is not as practical as it could be.
“One goal is to create a grassy play area for the kids,” said Wathen.
Earlier this week, construction began to remove the pre-existing asphalt and to grade the ground in preparation of cementation.
This is the third installment of a line of projects. “We broke it out into five phases,” said Wathen.
The first step was to demolish the rectory that was in disrepair and unused. The power lines were buried, and now the asphalt has been removed, and grading of the parking lot area has begun.
The fourth and fifth phases include the creation of the play area and having the parking lot cemented in.
Patrick Construction has donated the labor and equipment required for the removal of the playground and parking area. While this donation is valued at approximately $120,000 worth of work, the remaining project is estimated to cost $314,000.
“We are hoping for more donations of services and supplies,” said Wathen, adding that St. Jude’s will be launching a capital campaign to raise funds for a “series of projects” aimed toward the improvement of the building and grounds of the church and school.
Anyone wanting to contribute can call the St. Jude Thaddeus School Development Office at 265-4261.
In addition to Patrick Construction, Frontier Lawn and Landscape has also donated labor.
Kathryn Tilleman, development director at St. Jude’s said, “We want to be sure to thank Patrick Construction and Frontier Lawn and Landscape.”
“You work and work, and finally get to see the projects come together” Tilleman said. “It’s pretty rewarding.”