Buildings Initiative

September 2019

What they didn’t teach me in seminary: Finance reports, broken air conditioners, toilets overflowing, capital campaigns, building projects and town permitting processes. That is why I take comfort in reading from the bible, these verses from Jeremiah 1:1-19 
“The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah thus: Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you … I appointed you. ‘Ah, Lord God!’ I said, ‘I know not how to speak; I am too young.’ But the Lord answered me: Say not, ‘I am too young.’ To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear … because I am with you … to build and to plant … Be not crushed on their account … for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” 
We are in a good place, I think, but there have been serious bumps along the way that I wanted to report to you, so that you can understand what I have concluded with our Buildings Committee and Parish Finance and Pastoral Councils as the best way forward.  

First a brief recount of the very slow path, experienced from time to time as an arduous process: We first submitted our application to the Town of Greenwich last Fall and were given a meeting date with the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) on November 19, 2018. The ARC painstakingly considered the landscape and environment of our site, the protection of neighbors and predominant architecture.  

With ARC approval in January, our application proceeded to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P & Z) and we had our first meeting on January 22, 2019. P & Z reviewed sedimentation and erosion control plans, and site plans. Concurrently, our land use attorney and architect negotiated with and obtained sign-offs from the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency, Conservation Department, and Wastewater/Sewer Department. Once the P & Z Commission approved our plans, the P & Z department had to conduct their staff review of our submission.  

We just received the zoning permit for St. Timothy’s Chapel which now permits us to apply for the building permit. The approval ordinarily takes 3-6 weeks and we hope to have the building permit for the Chapel by the end of September. We pray there is no further delay. 
As for St. Michael’s Church, we expect to receive the zoning permit soon and then can apply for the building permit for the Church, which we hope to obtain in October. 

As you are aware, our original construction timeline was to begin at both locations after Easter (April 21) 2019 with the goal of completion by Christmas 2019. As we reach the final stages of permitting with the town, which has taken much longer than anticipated, we are faced with various timing alternatives for commencement of construction. Of utmost importance our minds is to maximize the use of St. Michael’s and St. Timothy’s during the important Easter and Christmas liturgical seasons and to have worship services in place for as much of the period of construction, while causing as little inconvenience to Greenwich Catholic School in terms of traffic disruption and the use of their cafeteria when construction prohibits use of St. Michael’s for liturgies. 
As such, current plans provide for the work at St. Timothy’s to commence early this Fall 
(estimated completion in 3-4 months), along with the addition to the Rectory offices. Work on the church building at St. Michael’s will have to be delayed commencing promptly following Easter (April 13) 2020. To meet the aggressive goal of completion by Christmas 2020, some site work (such as tree removal and stormwater drainage system) may commence earlier. A financial positive to this new planned construction schedule is an anticipated reduction in borrowing costs. We had arranged for a line-of-credit bridge loan to finance the cash flow shortfall until pledge payments from our capital campaign are received within future years. With the delayed start date of the more expensive project at St. Michael’s, more pledge payments should be received thus necessitating less drawdowns on the bridge loan. Dates, place of service and times of liturgies will be published well in advance in the Bulletin. We thank you for your generosity and patience. Know that you are all in my prayers and we ask that you keep us and our St Michael Parish in your prayers. 

Update to the Building Initiative- Announcement of a Change to the Schematic Designs

(as of April 30, 2018)


Following careful listening, review and further investigation of the results from the Capital Campaign Feasibility Study conducted during the month of January with input from more than 362 parishioners, Father Ian has taken the decision, with the approval of Bishop Frank Caggiano, to adjust the original schematic designs that were presented to the Parish in December 2017. 

Mainly, the designs will retain the current orientation of Saint Michael’s Church. The principal entrance to the Church will continue to be from the Eastern side of the Church building, facing North Street as it does now.  We still aim to achieve our vision of renewing our parish by renovating our church buildings and creating a more open and welcoming feel to Saint Michael’s Church on our campus. 

A new document illustrates the most recent iteration of the Schematic Designs, including site plan, building plan and interior rendering for St. Michael’s. Please see the following link for two Exterior Renderings. The plans for St. Timothy’s remain unchanged. The Buildings and Facilities Committee will continue to work with our architects to develop these schematic designs for our renovated Parish buildings.   

As part of this process, our parish is currently conducting a combined capital campaign with the Diocese of Bridgeport in which we hope to raise a minimum of $5,500,000 to fund this historic initiative. Parish families will be personally invited to participate in this campaign between now and October 2018.

A few highlights of the proposed designs:

St. Michael’s

  • Replacement and relocation of entire HVAC system with reconfigured ductwork and reclamation of mechanical rooms for use as Parish space;
  • Refurbishment and repair of all pews; replacement of flooring throughout the Church and installation of new carpet runners in aisles;
  • Construction of new bathrooms in front of church, located on the sacristy side;
  • Expansion of the Guinan Hall and other auxiliary spaces, and introduction of additional natural light into the Guinan Hall through new punched windows, as a result of the recovery of spaces currently dedicated to HVAC system;
  • Expansion of existing meeting spaces by removal of wall between Conference Room and adjacent room to create a larger meeting room; replace carpet; reconfigure cabinetry into storage areas;
  • Replacement of exterior trim and siding, glazing, doors and various other existing building systems and assemblies that have exceeded their useful life;
  • Installation of new lighting in the Sanctuary, the Guinan Hall, Family Room and Sacristy;
  • Re-organization of entry drive and parking lot;
  • Repaving of parking lot, installation of exterior lighting, and replacement of walkways and curbs;
  • Removal of the existing Porte Cochere and construction of a new Porte Cochere at a height which will permit Emergency Vehicles to park by the main door;
  • Construction of a new glass-enclosed narthex along the Eastern wall of the existing building;
  • Refurbishment of the Sanctuary to refresh materials and finishes, and to create a brighter and more appealing environment for worship;
  • Sand existing rough-sawn finish at all posts & beams; finish with natural sealer;
  • Construct new light shaft with skylight above altar and a recessed niche for the tabernacle;
  • Relocation of confessionals to Family Room.


  • Conversion of the existing garage space into new Parish offices with an ADA accessible entry and bathroom so as to allow privacy for counseling in the rectory.

St. Timothy’s

  • Re-grading of area immediately West of the building to raise the grade by at least 20” at the front entry to within 12” of existing platform at entry
  • Construction of driveway area and curbs as depicted on drawings. Re-pave parking lot; encapsulate existing location of well casing and bollards;
  • Reconstruction of the entry to provide ADA-compliant access; construct new entry walkway with bluestone set in concrete;
  • Relocation of the existing monumented bench and integrate into new walkway/ramp side walls to make it more integrated into the overall Chapel landscape;
  • Replacement of all site landscaping, including introduction of additional planting beds at the front of the building;
  • Construction of a new ADA-compliant restroom in the building vestibule;
  • Removal of the existing portico at the Southern door to the Sanctuary (from the exterior); addition of a new gable-dormer and window above the existing front entry; relocate existing cross above entry to reinforce entry point to building;
  • Refurbishment of interior finishes, including new paint, lighting, and flooring.


Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Update  (as of March 9, 2018)

In 2014, a study was conducted by PC Studio Architect PLLC which described in substantial detail the deterioration of our church buildings. This study placed an estimated cost of $4.4 million, after adjusting for inflation, for deferred maintenance and long overdue repairs to the main parish buildings which were constructed in 1963 or earlier.

After Fr. Ian was appointed Pastor to St. Michael’s and St. Timothy’s in 2015, a Buildings and Facilities Committee was established to oversee the restoration and renewal of the parish buildings. The need to address the problems of deferred maintenance, presents us with a rare opportunity to reimagine the spaces where we worship in a way which will provide a fresh perspective and spiritual inspiration for current and future generations of parishioners.

In the Summer of 2017, the Buildings and Facilities Committee, with the assistance of Construction Management Group, LLC, tasked architects Ryan Salvatore and Neil Hauck, to conduct a preliminary study into ways in which we could make the most of this opportunity to renew and restore our parish. These proposals were initially described in the an announcement which was made available to parishioners in November 2017.

In parallel with this, between January 8 and February 2, 2018, the fundraising firm Community Counselling Services (CCS) conducted a feasibility study to get feedback from parishioners regarding the Preliminary Case Statement and to assess the parish’s capacity and readiness to proceed with a capital campaign in combination with a broader Diocesan-wide campaign. CCS conducted seventy-nine (79) personal interviews and collected three-hundred sixty-two (362) survey responses pertaining to the following initiatives for a proposed capital campaign of $6,663,373:

  • St. Michael the Archangel Parish Campus Renewal ($5,200,000)
  • Restoration of St. Timothy Chapel ($483,513)
  • 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal ($350,000)
  • Diocesan Campaign Priorities ($629,860):
    • Catholic Education
    • Pastoral Ministries
    • Catholic Charities

Key Recommendations

The degree of participation from Parishioners and the information gathered from the Study were very encouraging. The main findings are described in the document Pre-Feasibility Study for a Capital Campaign - Executive Summary prepared by CCS - March 2018. Based on the findings from this study, CCS has recommended that St. Michael the Archangel Parish proceed with their capital campaign. It has been decided to establish a formal fundraising goal after the receipt of the first 15 commitments to the campaign.

Timing:  CCS have recommended that we establish a campaign timetable with a seven-month fundraising effort beginning in March and concluding in October 2018. The public phase of the campaign will begin in September 2018.

Next Steps: Based on the parish’s feedback from the feasibility study, Fr. Ian and the Buildings and Facilities Committee are working closely with the architects to provide more detailed cost analysis to clarify our vision for the projects as presented in the preliminary case for support.

We thank you again for your support as we move forward in the process of the renovation and renewal of our parish community. We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.




September 19, 2018 - Committment Weekend Update