School Building Update
September 1, 2023
In July, we announced that a decision was made to deconstruct the Stemm school building (the building attached to the church) because it has been vacant for over a year, needs many costly repairs, and St Anthony Church has no use for the 23,000 square feet of classrooms and offices.
Since that announcement, we’ve hired a contractor to remove the asbestos. We are happy to say they are making good progress. As of this week, about 80% of the asbestos has been removed from the boiler room and the school building.
We’ve also hired a contractor to disconnect the water service to the school building. The work is expected to begin after the asbestos abatement is completed. We anticipate this work will be completed before the end of October.
We’ve also hired a heating contractor to replace the boilers in the church. Replacing the boilers is necessary because the current boilers heat both the church and the school building and are significantly larger than what is needed to heat only the church. Furthermore, the current boilers are 36 years old, have exceeded their life expectancy, require daily oversight and frequent maintenance, and are not fuel efficient. The heating contractor has purchased the new boilers for St Anthony Church; however, these boilers will not be delivered until November. Installation is expected to be completed before Christmas. We will continue to use one of the two current boilers to heat the church until the new boilers are installed.
Finally, we’ve been meeting with an electrician and Alliant Electric to put together a plan to disconnect the electricity to the school building. Like everything else in this project, this is a complicated process because the church and the school building share one electrical system. A new transformer will need to be installed to disconnect electricity to the school.
Although there is no visible change to the Stemm school building as you view it from the street, much has been accomplished in the past two months. We will keep you informed as decisions are made and work is completed. May God bless you for your patience throughout this process.
July 27, 2023
School Building Update
It’s been nearly three years since the decision was made to close the St Anthony school due to the condition of the two school buildings. As you are aware, St Anthony Church sold the Steinmetz school building (the school building across the street from the church) and the ball field. The sale closed in March 2023.
The Stemm school building (the school building attached to the church) has been vacant for more than a year. After consulting with a realtor, it was determined that any commercial or residential use of the building would require off-street parking. If St Anthony Church also sold a portion of our parking lot along with the Stemm school building, the church would have insufficient parking for our needs. Therefore, selling the Stemm school building is not a good option.
A few months ago, St Anthony Church hired an Architect, a Mechanical Engineer, and a Structural Engineer to gain a better understanding of the condition of the building, and whether the building could be deconstructed without damaging the church. The building is currently in need of many costly repairs, such as a new heating system, updated plumbing, new windows and doors, floor coverings, tuckpointing, and asbestos removal. To accommodate people with disabilities, a new entrance, an elevator, and new restrooms would have to be built. Finally, any future use of the building would also require the addition of an air conditioning system.
Since the building can’t be sold, and the cost to renovate and maintain the Stemm school building is cost prohibitive, we are in the process of requesting permission from the Archdiocese of Dubuque to deconstruct the school building. We expect work to begin this summer by disconnecting water and heat from the school building. The boilers that currently heat both the Stemm school building and the church are significantly larger than what is needed to heat only the church. These boilers are 36 years old, have exceeded their life expectancy, and are energy inefficient. These boilers will be replaced later this calendar year with boilers that are more energy efficient and sized properly to heat only the church.
Additional information will be provided as decisions are made. This will be a big change to our campus. Many people in our parish community and their families attended school in this building. Please pray for a positive outcome for the St. Anthony Parish community.
October 10, 2022
Sale of Property
St Anthony Church received an offer to purchase the school building north of Rosedale Ave along with one row of parking immediately west of the school building, and the ballfield. The Parish Council approved the offer.
The buyer intends to convert the school building into apartments. Once completed, the buyer expressed a desire to build another apartment building on the ballfield along with a parking lot for the residents of the apartment buildings.
This sale is contingent on two actions from the City of Dubuque. First, the city must agree to rezone the property for apartment buildings. Second, the city must agree to close the alley from the school building to St Ambrose Street and transfer ownership of a section of the alley between the school building and the ballfield to the buyer so that the buyer has one contiguous parcel of land. St Anthony parishioners will be able to exit the parking lot onto St Ambrose Street, but parishioners will not be able to use the alley to exit the parking lot onto North Grandview. The sale of the property is scheduled to be completed by January 31, 2023.
The money received from this sale will remain with St Anthony Parish and will be set aside for actions to be taken on the school building attached to the church. These actions have not yet been decided and are complicated because the school building is attached to the church, and the school and church share utilities and one heating system. We hope to have decisions made by January 31, 2023. We will do our best to keep parishioners informed as those decisions are made.
Change is difficult at times, and the sale of a building and property will result in a change to the appearance of the parish. Please pray that this change will result in positive outcomes for the parish.
May God bless you for your support and patience throughout this process.