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Commonly Asked Questions

If you have any questions about the building project or fundraising, please don't hesitate to reach out!

Why do we need a new school and parish gathering space?

St. Mary's current school facility has been maintained over the years, however, the 1925 section is now nearing 100 years old, and the 1965 addition nearing 60 years old. St. Mary's Building Committee thoroughly researched the possibility of renovation and discovered we cannot update the section that was built in 1925. Due to this finding and the financial support given to date, it was decided that building a new school connected to the church is the best option. This requires further fundraising but will create a much more efficient and cost-effective building and also more space for parish gatherings of all sizes. A new facility will be more attractive to parents looking to enroll their children. Ultimately, what happens inside the building is most important, however, a new building will be a valuable asset in recruiting students and families. 

Once we reach our goal, what will be built?

A new school facility/ parish gathering space will be built and connected to our church. This facility will include the following:

  • Individual classrooms for Pre-K through 8th grade, music, and religious education (CCD)

  • Collaborative Educational Spaces

  • Multi-Function Media Center

  • Chapel

  • Gymnasium with the capacity to seat 225

  • Modern Kitchen and Cafeteria

  • Church and School Administrative Offices

  • Space for general functions of school/church gatherings

  • Enhanced accessibility to the main church, restrooms, church offices, and gathering spaces

Why can't we simply remodel the current school?

St. Mary's Building Committee thoroughly researched renovating our current school and discovered we cannot update the section that was built in 1925. Due to this finding and the financial support provided through past campaigns, it was decided that building a new school connected to St. Mary's Church is best for our future.

What is the capital campaign’s purpose and goal?

The capital campaign’s purpose is to raise the additional funding needed for the construction of a new school building/parish gathering space and provide enhanced accessibility to our church. The total estimated cost is $10.7 million. With $8.7 million already committed, our goal is to raise an additional $2 million in order to move forward with building.

Why are we investing so much in the school?

St. Mary’s School is our parish’s largest ministry and provides the Breckenridge community with a faith-based alternative for families. There are few better investments than shaping young minds in the traditions of our Catholic faith. Along with a commitment to academic excellence, St. Mary’s incorporates spirituality into each aspect of the curriculum. Although the new facility will be primarily used as a school, it will also serve our parish regularly as a place for meetings and large gatherings.

Why has this effort taken so long?

Since this effort began, St. Mary’s has faced numerous unforeseen challenges that caused us to delay and adapt. In a positive sense, there has been tremendous financial and volunteer support that has encouraged parish leadership to continue moving forward. We hope that with this being the final campaign, individuals will be encouraged to give to the best of their ability, knowing that with a successful effort a new school/parish gathering space will be built.

When will construction begin?

At this point, we are unsure when construction will begin. We must first complete the final campaign to determine where we stand financially and then decisions can be made regarding the next steps. With a successful campaign, it may be possible to begin construction as early as 2023.

Does the Diocese support us moving forward with this project?

Yes, Bishop Patrick Neary and the Diocese of Saint Cloud have approved our campaign and project.

What is the current enrollment and is there a plan to increase the student body?

The current pre-kindergarten through 8th-grade enrollment is 139 for the 2023-2024 school year. This number has remained steady for the last few years and is directly correlated to the population in our area. We plan to hire a development director who can effectively market our strengths as a faith community, A new staff person to promote St. Mary’s in coordination with a modern educational facility will undoubtedly help in retaining and recruiting students.

What is the present tuition at St. Mary’s? Will a new school be a factor in raising tuition?

The current tuition cost is $3,200. The school building expenses are just one factor of many that determines this amount. Each year tuition is impacted by projections: enrollment, operational costs, church subsidy, fundraising, etc. The capital campaign will pay for the new building. It is our hope that a new facility will actually reduce certain operational costs while attracting more students, which will help keep tuition affordable.

If this project is not important to me personally, why should I support a campaign?

St. Mary’s serves as a “conduit” or extension of our individual faith life. As parishioners and school parents, we are part of an extended family called upon to actively support an array of worship, education, social outreach, fellowship programs and activities. As a family member, each of us provides visible and tangible support and encouragement for all needs within the family, not just those that are important to us. This is the expectation of discipleship in following our Lord. 

Who will be asked to participate in a campaign?

All parishioners and school parents will be provided information, and most importantly, every household will be asked to participate through giving and volunteering. “Not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice” is the philosophy that best describes this effort. Not everyone can make the same size gift, but everyone has the ability to make a meaningful commitment. In addition, we hope to connect with St. Mary’s alumni to broaden our donor base.

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