The concept design for the new Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church as presented to the parish on Oct. 18. This image shows what the outside of the building could look like from the parking lot. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake’s Our Lady of Assumption looking to the future

The Catholic church is in the early stages of planning for a new church building

The Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church is moving forward with plans for a new church, which will be located at 60 Street and Wildrose Drive.

The plan to build a new church for a growing congregation has been in the works for several years. Roughly 10 years ago the church purchased 10 acres of land to use as the new location.

Last fall the land was officially paid off and progress is now moving towards planning and designing the building and surrounding land.

Carlo Simonot, chair of OLOA’s Land and Building Committee, along with Lee Phillips from Scott Builders, presented a concept design to parishioners Thursday evening.

Simonot said the design presented was the second go at a concept design.

When we started working with Lee and Scott Builders we told him exactly what we wanted… meeting rooms, seating for 500 parishioners, a fellowship hall,” Simonot explained. “However the design was close to 22,000 square feet, and while amazing, it would come with quite the price tag.”

Looking at the design the committee pulled back where they could and gave up on a few bigger wish list items, like seating for 500 people in the church.

The new design featured seating for a little more than 300 people with a collapsible wall into the fellowship hall to allow for overflow seating for services during Christmas or Easter.

The concept shown has the church sitting at roughly 14,000 square feet.

Simonot and Phillips stressed the design shown was only a concept and nothing was written in stone.

“Walls can be moved, rooms could be added or switched around,” said Phillips. “this is just a base to show everyone where we are now and doesn’t mean this is what we will finish with.”

The concept design gives the church room to grow in the future, as Phillips planned it with plenty of area around it.

One area the church could easily add in the future is a full sized gymnasium.

“I’ve included a full sized basketball court in the design, and what that shows you is there is room, down the road, for a gymnasium if you wish,” Phillips said.

Many churches are looking for ways to add gymnasiums or something similar to their buildings as a place for children ministries and youth groups to play and work, according to Phillips.

Father Les Drewicki said he is excited about the prospect of a new church, a new home for his flock.

Though he loves all the current location means to both him and the parish.

“It is by no mean my favourite building, and I look forward to what is in store for our church,” Father Drewicki said.

Currently the church’s Land and Building Committee has not set a budget, but expect it will be a lot of work moving forward to raise funds for the new building.

While an official budget is not in place at this time, Simonot says they will be using the recent build in Lacombe, St. Stephen’s, as a guideline. The building which was also designed by Scott Builders, came with a price tag of about $2.8 million.

“It will be an exciting time for our church as we plan and work our way to building our new home,” said Simonot.

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