After two years of planning and designing, construction on the addition to St Benedict's Church in Decorah is nearing the end. The new addition was opened for the first time last weekend. Church members had been meeting at St Benedict's School during part of the renovations. They moved back into their building for services in April, even though the project wasn't finished.
Members of the building and design committee are Don Elsbernd, Larry Hauber, George Tekippe, Bonnie Arneson, Father Donald Hertges and former pastor Father Phil Gibbs.
The new addition offers a drive through with a protected overhang to the side of the gathering space that is helpful for handicap and elderly members getting dropped off, according to committee member Bonnie Arneson.
When you enter the new addition, a warm, welcoming, gathering space is located just off the original building. An elevator and brand new bathrooms are to one side of the gathering space and the chapel is on the other side. The chapel will serve multiple purposes. It will hold mass services and will be an overflow to the sanctuary as needed.
The basement floor of the new addition holds a brand new large kitchen and a classroom. Relocating the kitchen from the parish hall gave the parish hall more space.