St. Mary's kicks off campaign

A communitywide campaign has been kicked off to raise $5 million to build a Catholic Education Center in Spring Lake.
Krystle Wagner
Dec 14, 2013


The center would be attached to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spring Lake. It would house nearly 500 people a week, including students from St. Mary’s Catholic School.

"Mary, Seat of Wisdom Campaign" co-chairman Tom Conroy said the education center is part of a two-phase process, which began 11 years ago. The first phase began when the parish built a gathering space and activity center, which was paid off in 2008. During its construction, the building was created to allow an additional building at the back of the Spring Lake church, 406 E. Exchange St.

Campaign co-chairwoman Sierra Swartz called the project “forward thinking.”

St. Mary’s School is nearly 60 years old and doesn’t provide enough space to accommodate its growing student population, school officials said. Foundation problems and insufficient outlets for technology are among some its problems.

“The school, with beauty and dignity, is at the end of its life,” said Ted Fricano, another co-chairman for the campaign.

The approximately 15,000-square-foot school houses students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Preschool classes take place at the church, and the rest of the students must walk to the church for special classes such as music and gym.

The parish, which was established in 1866, stands separately and is joined by a parking lot to the school, which was built in 1954.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Education center for who? Is this where they're going to tell everyone who's not Catholic that if they're not Catholic they're going to hell?


We've educated our children at St. Mary's school and are members of that parish. I have never heard anything like what you have stated. St. Mary's School is a viable Catholic school with a wonderful Parish. The Educational Center will be built to educate all of the youths within the parish. The parish is very active within the community and practices what it preaches. The food pantry feeds those who are hungry, the children raise money for various charities, the teachers and Religious Ed program show through example how to live a Christian life and serve others. All of the students perform service throughout the community. There is a need for a new building, and I applaud the efforts and those who are willing to contribute to the new Educational Center.

papa bear

As a Catholic I am upset by your comment we do not tell people they are going to hell we worship God kjust like eveyone else we are no better than anyone else so please keep the rude comments to yourself thank you


This is a comment forum. I have the same right to comment as you to state you don't agree.

I would agree with your comment that Catholics are no better than anyone else and maybe things have changed since I went to Catholic school back in the 4th and 5th grade, but back then I heard that said repeatedly. Used to irritate me to the point of complete fustration. My mother says the same thing and she considers herself a devout Catholic. Needless to say, we don't agree and I fully expect to be excluded from her will for "leaving" the church when she heads out to wherever we go after this life.

Fortunately we moved between 5th and 6th grades and I went back to public school for 6th grade. Thank God.


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