Officials announce major renovation project for St. Joseph Parish in Jasper

Officials announce major renovation project for St. Joseph Parish in Jasper

JASPER, Ind. (WFIE) - Officials at Saint Joseph Parish announced a major renovation project to restore the historic church building on Kundek Street.

They say several steps have been taken to assure the preservation of the structure. Studies and planning started back in 2017 on how to best serve the parishioners while still honoring the legacy of those who built it.

Church officials say the work will be focused on two areas.

The first is set to start in May and will be exterior work, such as scaffolds and lifts, to assist in the tuckpointing and conservation of the grand stone exterior, including the bell tower.

When this is completed, officials say the start of the interior work could start in September. They say that work will close the structure for approximately one year.

After project assessments that began in 2019, the group determined the project will cost around $10 million.

Dan Fritch, who is the chairperson of the capital campaign for the group, said he’s been reaching out to donors for the past four months.

They have another 100 volunteers reaching out as well, and as of Thursday, he said the community has been receptive to the idea of contributing to preserve a building with so much history.

“This truly is that foundational structure in a community that stands there forever and is a part of its core,” Fritch explained. “That’s what we’re happy to share that with and to preserve it for the next 150 years.”

Fritch said that a large majority of the funding will come from donations. Donations can be logged on saintjosephjasper.org.

The building was originally completed in 1880, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Church leaders say services will continue in the Parish Center, which will be a repeat of the history from the last major renovation in 1953-54.

The architectural firm of Entheos Architects, who were also part of the renovation of Saint Benedict Cathedral in Evansville, will be working with Krempp Construction of Jasper.

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