Parish Building Project

Building Project Update: With the YMCA built, weekend Masses are held in the St. Albert Auditorium. Daily Masses remain at St. Patrick’s.

For directions to St. Albert Catholic Schools’ Campus,


Building Updates

March 2018
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February 2017
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January 2018
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December 2017
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November 2017
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October 2017
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August 2017
The Results of the Planning Survey: Planning Study Final Report

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July 2017
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May 2017
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April 2017
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March 2017
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January 2017
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January 10, 2017 – Complete Summary to Date
Preparations for the new Church began during the time of Fr. David Fleming when land was purchased on State Orchard Road in June 2008. In the Fall of 2012, the Diocese approved Fr. Fleming to contract with Big Creek Design Group, an architect in the Des Moines area, to begin preliminary preparations and needs assessment for a new Church.

In early 2013 an engineering review of the State Orchard Road land was conducted. The review determined that the land was inadequate because there was insufficient usable land and a long term risk of the building foundation becoming undermined. In January 2014 that land was sold and the proceeds were used to purchase a site on Valley View Drive in February 2014. The new land was flat and easier to prepare, is totally usable, highly visible, has good neighbors, and is on a major street connected to Highways 92 and 6, and next to Interstate 80 and McPherson Avenue. Proximity to Iowa Western Community College allows future ministry with college students and encourages their involvement in parish life.

Dominant input from parishioners for the new facility included a larger entrance area, a larger social hall for gatherings at a location which will encourage attendance, an organized kitchen with updated equipment, handicap accessibility, modern bathrooms, cry room, incorporating elements from the old Church, a traditional design, musicians up front, larger meeting rooms, better wifi, and acoustics that balance singing and speaking.

Along with the parish expectations, the Diocese included two entrances and two exits to the parking lot, open to expansion, and use of a liturgical consultant and construction observer. The Diocese did not want a cry room, but there will be space for children to move about in the back of the Church along with room for the parents to be able to participate actively.

After reviewing parish input, sketches from the original architect were designed and presented at eleven different sessions in April 2014 to receive the parish’s feedback. A main concern was phasing construction. Predominately the parishioners wanted a one-phase approach so that the church can be “built right the first time and as it should be” rather than waiting decades – or never – for a phase two. The scope thus significantly changed from two stages to one stage. Adding a Newman Center for college/youth ministry also increased the scope as it was not in the original design. Another concern was that it didn’t look “churchy” enough.

After the parishioners’ feedback, an ad hoc committee was created in April 2014 to hire a different architect – one who was Catholic, local, had more experience in design of Catholic churches and understood the spirituality behind such design. Clark Collaborative 3 from Lincoln was the architecture firm selected in August 2014 to continue the process and bring it to conclusion.

With little time between being hired and the Fall of 2014 capital campaign, a preliminary rendering was created by Clark. No cost projections for the design were yet available. During the Winter of 2014, Brother William Woeger of Omaha was hired as the required Liturgical Consultant. A needs assessment was reviewed from the Fall of 2014 to January 2015. Three-dimensional renderings were then available. The first half of 2015 was spent going through multiple layers of detail pertaining to fixtures, flooring, windows, technology, etc. throughout the entire facility. During June 2015, as required by the Diocese, a Construction Observer was identified to help the parish attend to construction details. The last half of 2015 was used to create bid documents. In October 2015 ground preparation had begun.

The one phase project was put out to bid in February 2016. Due to the high volume of construction in the Metro and the Midwest, it took four months to receive the required three bids. In May 2016 ConStruct, Inc., of Omaha was selected as the general contractor.

It’s anticipated that it will take three capital campaigns to finance the project. An initial five-year fixed rate loan has been signed with the Council Bluffs Savings Bank and guaranteed by the Diocese.

It is projected that the new fiscal year beginning July 1 will have a 3.3% increase in expenses It is important that operational tithing meet operational expenses for the long term, so please consider your tithing and help cover the 3% increase.

It’s very important that the parish is able to have a successful second capital campaign in order to keep debt as low as possible and minimize future interest payments. We have been fortunate to enjoy much support from inside and outside the parish. Our first campaign exceeded the goal that the Steier Group helped us with by better than 20%. Share that enthusiasm with family members and all “alumni” of St. Patrick’s.

  • September 21, 2016 – Paving of the corner of the southeast parking lot was completed. More footings were poured and only one remains to be poured. Electricians and plumbers are performing underground work. More dirt grading will be done in preparation for the remainder of the parking lot.
  • September 11, 2016 – The groundbreaking ceremony was performed with Bishop Pates following an outdoor Mass where he presided with Fr. Glen. The groundbreaking was also performed by our Architect, Kevin Clark (Clark Collaborative 3) of Lincoln, and Shane Bassler (ConStruct, Inc) of Omaha. During the ceremony, a ceremonial check for $16,000 was presented to the church by the Knights of Columbus. The children and parishioners were then invited to continue the groundbreaking by shoveling their own piece of dirt. The groundbreaking was followed by the parish’s annual picnic at the New Horizon Presbyterian social hall. At the time of the event, the water line, sewer line and some footings were in place.
  • June 2016 – As you may recall, the final bids were received in early May and ConStruct, Inc. from Omaha will be the general contractor for the project. Just recently, the banks’ RFPs (Requests for Proposals) were due on June 1st and were received to fund the project. Also, a detailed contract for construction has been drawn up which includes various additions or deletions that could be taken. A conference call with the bishop occurred on June 3rd to touch base and go over procedural details. The building commission of the diocese and its legal team will take a look at the documents and make sure all is in order, for example, insurance requirements.

YMCA progress

Per Len Romano, President of the YMCA: As of July 7, 2014, the YMCA has reached $10.3 million of the $12 million goal to begin construction in the parking lot across from St. Pat’s, and is a good sign, “that construction is approaching”. Len says it has been the most successful campaign in YMCA’s history in the local area, including both Council Bluffs and Omaha.

Meeting with Steier Group

Fr. Glen, the Parish Council, Finance Council, and the Building Committee met in early June 2014 with the Steier Group to receive their findings and we will be moving forward with the campaign.

Additional Updates

Original Purchase of Land

Additional Resources:

  1. How to Read Churches, a Crash Course in Ecclesiastical Architecture by Denis R. McNamara
  2. Places of Prayer and Celebration by Tom Schmitt
  3. Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy by Denis R. McNamara
  4. “Built of Living Stones” by the USCCB, External Link
  5. “Sacrosanctum Concilium” by the Vatican, External Link