Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2007

Catholic school envisioned for city

February 1, 2007

Two new elementary schools appear to be in Lansing's future, and they likely will be located around the corner from each other.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas this week announced pastoral planning recommendations that call for a Catholic elementary school to be built in Lansing on land owned by St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.

But the Rev. Michael Stubbs, Leavenworth Region Leader and pastor of St. Francis de Sales, said building a Catholic school in Lansing probably wouldn't happen for at least a decade.

"It would be quite a ways down the road. The soonest that we would be looking at is 11 to 12 years down the road," he said.

Stubbs said the school would accommodate one class per grade and range from preschool through the eighth grade.

The recommendations will affect Catholic schools and eight parishes in Lansing, Leavenworth, Basehor and Easton. The suggestions were made by the Leavenworth Pastoral Planning Task Force after a year of long-range planning sessions with parishioners.

Before breaking ground on a new Catholic school in Lansing, Stubbs said, St. Francis de Sales will proceed with its plan to build a new church south of the existing facility, 900 Ida Street.

Five years ago, the parish began a capital campaign to raise funds for the new church, which Stubbs said he hoped would seat 800 people during a worship service. Other features include a basement with offices and classrooms.

So far, the building fund has more than $1.25 million in its coffers, and the date to break ground will be determined by the pace of fundraising, Stubbs said.

That time, Stubbs hopes, will come in the fall.

The church owns 60 acres at its present site near the corner of Ida Street and De Soto Road. That's just northwest of the new Lansing Elementary School, under construction on West Mary Street. The church has placed 30 of those 60 acres on the market and will use profits from the sale to help build the new church, Stubbs said.

Plans call for a new elementary school to be built further south of the new church.

Stubbs said the long-range planning process had helped parishioners determine the vision for the new church. The final design of the church is still being determined in coordination with the designer, GLPM Architects, of Lawrence.

"The plan we're using is a good plan and it's gone through a lot of development from our parishioners. Taking our time is very important. It's been a good process," Stubbs said.

Other recommendations approved in the Leavenworth region plan and announced in a news release include the construction of a new church at Basehor within three years with the possibility of a Catholic school in the future; joining the Sacred Heart and St. Casimir parishes in Leavenworth; and combining Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parishes, also in Leavenworth.

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