By Stephen Warunek
The Parish Hall remodel is so very important, and all of the renovations we completed have already proven useful and beneficial to the parish.
Most importantly, one room has become three. Prior to the renovation, only one ministry was able to utilize the Parish Hall for their meetings. Now three ministries can meet simultaneously. The dividing walls between the rooms are almost sound proof, but still have transparent glass. This allows us to remain in compliance with Protecting God’s Children. It is amazing how much easier scheduling has become due to this reconfiguration of space. Every ministry is able to meet because of this renovation.
Furthermore, we added three new technological features to the Parish Hall. First, each room within the Parish Hall has its own HVAC system, electronics, and sound system. Second, we added a wireless microphone and headset to make presentations easier in any of the rooms. Third, we are now able to broadcast Mass in real time to the Parish Hall. When we have Masses with large numbers, we are able to seat overflow in the Parish Hall. No longer is there a delay in sound or video. In fact, the sound and video quality is so great that the overflow experience is as though you are actually present in the church. All of the technology is state of the art and easy to use.
Additionally, we purchased brand-new equipment for the kitchen. Our appliances now include a 10 burner oven, a 48” chrome plated griddle, a six-rack convection oven, (2) large two-door refrigerators, a large two-door freezer, a commercial microwave, an air cooled ice machine and new prep tables with a built-in prep sink. The only appliance that was not replaced in its entirety was the dishwasher. However, even then, it was cleaned and the parts were replaced. It is running as though it is brand new. Anyone that has to cook in this kitchen will be very happy with all of the new improvements.
Finally, all of the tables and chairs have been replaced in order to achieve a more modern look. The tables, both rectangular and round, have been replaced with white, lightweight plastic tables. These are easy to move and easy to clean. The new chairs are padded, and the cushions are made of leather material, which makes for easier cleaning as well. We even reconfigured our storage space to simplify things. We added a closet in one of the rooms, and every shelving unit is on wheels for painless accessibility.
Overall, this project has been a huge success, and it has been well received. I cannot wait to start the next project and complete the renovations for the church. Please continue to send in your Capital Campaign contributions so that we can begin to beautify an already beautiful church!
Stephen Warunek is the business manager at St. Mary Mokena.