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Capital campaign nears its goal

Cathedral School

A capital campaign to renovate Cathedral School passed the $2 million mark, and it is closing in on its goal.

“It’s historic because we have this opportunity to do some really amazing things for our campus and for our bishop,” said Rev. Andrew Ricci, rector of Cathedral of Christ the King. He expressed excitement, enthusiasm and gratitude to those whose work has brought them to this point.

More than half of the money raised as part of the Forward in Faith campaign is earmarked for renovations to the 1950 school building, including replacement of 63-year-old single-paned windows.

“We’ve been gifted with Cathedral School … and we want to continue to give it love,” Ricci said. “Simply put, we want to keep the heat in and keep the water out and we want to take care of an older window system and brickwork.”

It costs over $30,000 in gas to heat the school each year, roughly 65 percent of the heating costs for the entire Cathedral campus.

“The main savings we expect to see comes from replacing the current windows with modern higher efficiency windows, removing the glass block and inserting an insulated wall and window system, and updating the temperature control system in each classroom,” said Colleen Tuura-Wicklund, finance director for the Cathedral and school.

Other goals include funding seminarian education and providing for health care needs of retired priests and installing a new twin boiler system beneath the church, which provides heat to the school as well.

Phil Milroy couldn’t say no when Ricci tapped him to be co-chairman of the capital campaign committee.

“When I was a kid growing up in Superior, there were seven Catholic grade schools and a Catholic high school and that’s the last of it right there,” Milroy said. “It’s one of my passions is making sure we have a Catholic education in Superior.”

“We’ve reached a point where we need to be very proactive to take care of our particular school so that the treasure of it can continue for years to come,” Ricci said.

The school serves 268 children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Jessica Poskozim’s daughters have been attending Cathedral School for five years.

“I love the caring, supportive environment. It’s faith-filled and everyone knows the children’s names,” said Poskozim, development director for Cathedral of Christ the King.

The Forward in Faith campaign was launched three months ago, right after Labor Day weekend. Ricci said he wasn’t surprised by how successful fundraising efforts have been.

“The surprise, I think, came from being touched by others’ generosity. Boy that’s a beautiful thing to encounter when you see people supporting a good project,” he said.

“I just had a lump in my throat because some of us can afford to do a little more … but there were people who were on social security that pledged for four years,” Milroy said. “It just renewed my faith in mankind.”

Work on construction documents is expected to begin shortly, followed by an environmental survey before the call for bids. The renovation is expected to begin in spring 2015.

“People have been very generous with this money and we want to use it wisely,” Ricci said.

Poskozim said the campaign is about $10,000 short of its goal. Donations are still being accepted. People can donate online through the school website, or call Poskozim at 715-392-8511, ext. 106. Information packets are also available at Cathedral of Christ the King, 1410 Baxter Ave.