Summer Construction Updates (provided by Paul Stoffel, chair)

Interested parishioners can contact Bryan Buenzli, project manager, about bidding on church and school renovation projects. The trades include theatrical lighting, plumbing, flooring, HVAC, drywall, painting, asphalt and sidewalk. Bids are due back March 23. Contact Bryan at or call 230-7383.

The church driveways, parking lots, curbing and sidewalks require various degrees of maintenance or replacement. We are working with NCI Roberts to identify and categorize the work needed.

Except for Festival Sunday’s roast beef dinner, the school gymnasium will be setup for church services throughout the summer. Fellowship Hall, the Gathering Space and church bathrooms will be closed during this summer’s construction, as will the church’s west entrance. The chapel will remain mostly accessible for morning Mass during construction, except for new carpeting installation days.

The Mary and Joseph statues will be relocated to the chapel, after they have been touched up. The planter in the southwest corner of the church will be removed. The height of the sanctuary’s reredos has been increased in height by two feet to allow for larger video projection screens.

Final Planning Items (provided by Paul Stoffel, chair)

Final electrical and lighting plans were discussed on Wednesday, March 7, with the electrical contractor. The church’s interior lighting will be entirely LED.

Father Randy, Pat Hendrickson, Katy Finkelmeyer and Jim Enright visited Wisconsin Stone Design in Cudahy, along with designer Paul Barribeau and fabricator Gino Tassara. The stone was selected for the altar and ambo.  Now that the stone has been chosen, wood finishes and flooring options can be finalized.

Architect Kristin McGraw writes:  “We received plan approval from the City [of Madison] last week.”  The drawing plans were submitted on February 21.  The approval letter will be attached to the drawing plans. Much time was spent combing through the drawing plans. Subsequently, Kristin released an addendum on March 9 that includes updates and corrections to the plans.

Interested parishioners can contact Bryan Buenzli, project manager, about bidding on church and school renovation projects. The trades include plumbing, flooring, HVAC, drywall, painting, asphalt and sidewalk. Bids are due back March 23. Contact Bryan at or call 230-7383.

Reserve Sunday, April 15, at noon, for a Centered on Christ preview of the drawings and a question and answer session in the church.  More information will be forthcoming.

Liturgical Furnishings (provided by Jim Enright, Liturgical Furnishings Committee Chairman)

The Saint Dennis Liturgical Furnishings Committee is working with Liturgical Architect Paul Barribeau and craftsmen from several companies to specify designs for liturgical furnishings, as well as floor materials and colors for the Church, Sanctuary, Gathering Space, Prayer Chapel and Fellowship Hall.

The new altar, ambo and tabernacle will be fabricated by Inspired Artisans using a combination of stone, wood and metal.  A group from St. Dennis is visiting masons in Milwaukee in early March to select stone for the altar and ambo.  Once the stone is selected, sanctuary flooring materials and colors will be finalized.

The new crucifix, which will be suspended above the sanctuary, will feature a life-size “corpus” made of wood carved to specifications generated by the Liturgical Furnishings Committee.  The carving will be provided by T.H. Stemper, also the source for new catalogue furnishings such as the presider chairs, tables and other furniture items, and appointments such as sanctuary lamp and Easter candle stand. Some current appointments are being reused.  Examples include the four candle stands which will be replated, and the processional crucifix which will be mounted on a new staff.

A new back-lit “art-glass” panel on the back wall of the sanctuary is being designed and created by the same artisan from Vinery Stained Glass Studio who designed the existing art-glass panes on the side walls.  The new panel will provide a dramatic backdrop for the crucifix.

The arrangement of the furnishings, from the baptismal font in back of church to the altar and ambo, to the crucifix and tabernacle and finally to the art-glass panel represent Christ’s life journey from baptism, through teaching to sacrifice and resurrection.

Detailed Picture of the Project  (provided by Paul Stoffel, chair)

The architect from Groth Design Group is drawing construction documents for the sanctuary renovation.  A complete set of documents contains floor plans, elevations, sections and details that, together, form a detailed picture of the project.

The most up-to-date floor plan is posted on the Centered on Christ web page. The most notable changes to the floor plan are the location of the family bathroom and slight changes to the sanctuary platform. An access ramp is shown between the sanctuary platform and the choir space. The sanctuary platform is wider, giving more space around the ambo.

Also on the website is an example of a chart that helps with project management, from Saint Dennis’ perspective, during the construction phase. Essentially, the as-shown, partial chart illustrates the scope of work by listing task descriptions. A full-blown chart (not shown) also keeps track of various steps along the way, such as quotes received, material received, installation complete and more.

Grand Piano Keyboard  (provided by Paul Stoffel, chair)

As part of the sanctuary remodeling project, a Yamaha electronic keyboard has been purchased. The keyboard’s cabinet resembles a grand piano style, capable of providing an accurate simulation of an acoustic piano, an organ, and many other accompanying, instrumental sounds.

The grand piano keyboard will replace the need for the traditional piano and pipe organ. The traditional piano is becoming more and more difficult to keep in tune. Keeping the pipe organ fully functional would require costly console and mechanical updates and repairs. Recently, it was noted during the church’s acoustical study that the pipe organ also has an air leak somewhere in the bellows. The plan is for the pipe organ to be removed.

The Centered on Christ committee, along with the parish pianists, choir directors and Saint Dennis Liturgical staff, have weighed in on the decision to begin using an electronic keyboard. It is temporarily located in the chapel until a dolly is delivered to make it mobile. It is expected that the keyboard will be moved into the church within the next couple of weeks, after a training session from the Yamaha dealership. The chapel will be the new home for the traditional piano.

Church Lighting  (provided by Paul Stoffel, chair)

A major goal of the church renovation and facilities upgrade project is to replace the current lighting in church, and around campus, with energy-saving LED bulbs.

In church, the current pendant lights will be replaced with new LED pendant fixtures that have a bright downlight, as well as an uplighting array, to illuminate the ceiling.

A common method of measuring the amount of light in a room is by using a light meter that measures in “foot-candles.” The lighting in a church should typically be around 20 to 40 foot-candles. A lighting contractor recently measured the available light. At different locations in the pews, the foot-candles were low and varied widely: o.7, 2.5, 6.7 and 11.8.

These foot-candle readings are not surprising. We know the church needs better lighting, more foot-candles, but it also needs more uniform lighting throughout.

New, brighter, dimmable church lighting is part of the Centered on Christ sanctuary renovation project.

Financial Update (provided by Fr. Randy)

Task force includes: Dan Clancy, Mark Courchane, Craig Fenrick, Todd Hollister, Derek Metcalf, Jim Wilson, office staff: Roger Howerton and Sue Besler; Campaign Chair – Paul Stoffel.

  1. Savings on-hand available for project – $89,438
  2. 2017 year-end gifts received for project (32 gifts = $93,628)
  3. 15 pledge gifts received totaling $518,000
    1. 5-year pledge commitment
    2. Average of $34,500
    3. 10 outstanding pledges to be returned
  4. Total pledged to-date & on-hand for project – $701,066 – January 30, 2018
  5. Additional Funding Possibilities
    1. Diocese of Madison-Apostolate of Persons with Disabilities
  6. Task force recommends to begin inquiry with lending institutions and credit union regarding loan options
  7.  Timeline
    1. Per Diocesan policy – ‘blackout period’ – no active fundraising through Annual Catholic Appeal (Commitment Weekend for Bishop’s Appeal is March 3 & 4)
    2. Early April: solicit 50 additional pledge commitments
    3. Mid-April: parish-at-large in pew commitment
  1. Goal:
    1. Goal 1- $1,335,000(sanctuary redesign, liturgical furnishings, lighting, flooring, family restroom, restrooms refurbished, power-assisted doors, video projection)
    2. Goal 2 – $183,000(school classroom heating units, school kitchen flooring and walls; additional handicap and visitor parking, sidewalk repair)
    3. Goal 3 – $195,000(solar collector panels, school bathroom sinks, lockers, ceiling tiles, campus lighting/security)
    4. All Three Goals – $1,713,000

Acoustic  Renovation Design (provided by Paul Stoffel, chair)
Our church “room” or space was evaluated by acoustical engineers this past week. They wanted
to understand and diagnose why the church’s unique room acoustics are actually degrading
sound quality, affecting speech intelligibility and clarity.

The acoustic engineers took measurements to determine the room’s frequency response, bass
decay, reverberation time and reflections.

Preliminary indications point to a need for acoustic renovation design elements which include
increasing the amount of hard surface floor areas, such as under the pews; the use of sound
reflective/diffusing profiles on the east and west walls of the church; and the application of
sound absorbing material at strategic locations. These recommended design elements will be
part of the Centered on Christ sanctuary renovation project.