A ribbon-cutting ceremony and blessing for the new addition to St. Pius V Catholic Church in Cannon Falls was held on December 22 before the 8:30 a.m. Mass, concluding with a reception held after Mass in the lower level. The addition includes an elevator to the lower level, as well as a new handicap accessible bathroom at street level. The lower level also includes the addition of a new room replete with lounging furniture.
During the reception coffee, juice and a vast array of pastries were served as the multitudes scoped out the new spaces.
Northfield Construction was hired as the general contractor and subcontractors included some from the Cannon Falls vicinity, most notably O'Gorman Masonry.
For many years, according to the business administrator, the addition of an elevator has been talked about. "There is the ramp on the west side of the church, but people need to go outside to use it to get to the lower level - not always and easy task during a Minnesota winter or other inclement weather."
Then three to four years ago a donation fund for the elevator project was started. In early spring plans were made, permits taken out in August, and the project was underway.
Paid for by donations, memorials and gifts, the $315,000 improvement at the direction of the church's pastor, Father Fernando Ortega, will facilitate easier access to community functions in the lower level.
"Thanks go to so many people for their very generous donations," stated Fr. Ortega.
"Other than needing ear plugs for the noise and office internet disruptions, everything went quite well," explained the business administrator who remained in her office throughout the adjacent construction phase.