St. Joe’s Acquires Wayne Allen Building For New Ministry Center

Parishioners attend the open house of the new St. Joseph Catholic Church’s ministry center at 204 W. Wayne St. in Maumee. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH
Plans for phase three, which involves a single-story parish life center on the land available at the corner of West Broadway and Conant streets, will come to fruition in a few years.

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — The footprint of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is expanding in uptown Maumee with the purchase of the Wayne Allen Building.

After beginning construction on the school expansion, located at West Broadway and Allen streets, the parish was looking toward phase two of its plan: a new ministry center.

Construction costs, however, have significantly increased, and the two-story expansion was put on hold.

Fr. Eric Schild knew the parish would still need more space for the nearly 10,000 registered parishioners, and further options would need to be explored.

After connecting with two parishioners, extra storage space at the Wayne Allen Building at 204 W. Wayne St. was offered to the church by building owner and River Asset Management president Paul Kwapich.

“I went over there and it was just perfect,” Schild said. “I got back here and said, ‘What if we just buy the building?’”

The space was purchased for $1 million, adding several thousand square feet to the parish’s footprint.

The leases for all current tenants will be honored, Schild noted.

The church will move some ministry operations into the office suite previously occupied by River Asset Management, which will relocate to a smaller suite within the building.

“The tenants have their privacy and they will continue on as they always have. The tenants should see no change except for the fact they would call us when they need something fixed,” Schild said.

The parish will take possession of the building on Wednesday, May 1 but hosted an open house on April 13 and 14 for parishioners to explore the new space.

“Currently, what we’re doing right now is we are making our suite ours, trying to connect it with our campus,” Schild said. “We put (up) some wall wraps that have pictures of the church, pictures of the outside and the inside. We put up some religious artwork.”

The new ministry center will house some storage for the church along with adding on much-needed meeting rooms and space for Christian counseling services.

The parish is currently finalizing the plans before bringing in the counseling services, which are more important than ever, Schild said.

“We know mental health is a huge issue these days. COVID exacerbated the mental health crisis and made it so much worse,” he added. “As the Catholic Church, we recognize that people are body, mind and soul. That’s how God created us. It’s not just about the soul. It’s about the body and mind.”

Also located on the property will be a satellite office for Heartbeat of Toledo’s Heart to Heart Parenting Education Program.

“Their Heart to Heart Program provides for parents who have chosen life, up to three years of their child’s life, by offering parenting classes and a boutique where they go shopping. They can shop for diapers and wipes and strollers and car seats,” Schild said.

Parishioners will have the opportunity to volunteer and donate items to the boutique to benefit those families.

The tentative move-in date for Heartbeat of Toledo is July 2024.

While the new ministry center has provided a change to the phase two plan, the church will still need to expand the parish in the coming years to support its added parishioners.

“Phase three becomes, rather than a ministry center, it becomes a parish life center,” Schild said. “We took off one floor. We took off the top floor. That brought the building down by about $3 million. It went from $8 to $5 million.”

The parish life center will be built on the remaining land at the corner of West Broadway and Conant streets, next to St. Joseph Catholic Church. It will expand the available parish space during Mass and allow for more parish hall space.

Funds for the projects have been collected through the Going Big for Christ Capital Campaign, which Schild said has collected approximately $9.5 million.

The total cost needed is approximately $11 million, with $1 million for the Wayne Allen Building purchase and $5 million for the new parish life center.

Before the elimination of the planned second floor and the purchase of the new ministry center space, the estimated cost for the projects had increased to $13 million, Schild said. 

“From the people’s perspective, it’s a win-win situation,” he added. “We ended up saving the parish $2 million by doing it this way and we gain 5,000 more square feet of space. That’s a no-brainer.”

The new parish life center, however, will not begin construction until after the church has completed several of its current projects, including construction of the school expansion, moving into the Wayne Allen Building and updates on the convent for the four Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who will join the school next year.

The school expansion is still on schedule to be completed in July in time for the preschool students to begin next school year.

“Ultimately, God provided in big ways for us in our time of need to continue the growth that we are having, but also to be able to do some really awesome things for the community.”

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