Campaign gains momentum

A community-wide campaign raising money for St. Mary’s Catholic Education Center is gaining momentum.
Krystle Wagner
Mar 29, 2014
So far, the “Mary, Seat of Wisdom” campaign has received more than $1.9 million in pledges toward the construction of the Center, which would attach to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spring Lake. The building would create about 22,000 square feet for catholic education purposes, and it’s estimated to cost about $3.3 million. 
 
The stewardship goal is to raise $5 million.
 
Father Dan DePew said many people have kept the campaign and parish in their prayers.
 
“The love of their parish is certainly there,” he said.
 
The Center is part of a two-phase project that started in 2002. The first phase began when the parish built a gathering space and activity center, which was paid off in 2008.
 
Established in 1866, the parish stands separately and is joined by a parking lot to St. Mary’s School, which was built in 1954.
 
Previously, campaign officials said the school doesn’t provide enough space to accommodate a growing population, and the building’s foundation and insufficient outlets for technology are also problems.
 
The school houses students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Preschool classes are held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and students walk to the church for classes such like music and gym.
 
Last spring, St. Mary’s parishioners completed a survey for a feasibility study that looked at their thoughts and concerns regarding current facilities and the possibly of building a new education center.
 
DePew said the new facility will impact not only the parish, but also the community and beyond with the adults who graduate from the school go on in the world.
 
DePew noted that the support the new center has received means “everything in the world.”
 
“We couldn’t do it without it,” he said.
 
Community members or parishioners interested in contributing to the campaign can contact the parish office at 616-842-1702.
 
To read more of this story, see Saturday's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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