Anonymous donor boosts Brunswick parish project

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BRUNSWICK — St. John the Baptist Church has received a $100,000 anonymous donation for its parish multipurpose facility on Pleasant Street, bringing the total funds raised to $3.8 million of the $4.7 million goal.

Jim Baskerville, chairman of the committee overseeing the campaign, called the donation “a significant shot in the arm” for the project that has been a decade in the making.

“It’s certainly a shot of adrenaline to the project,” he said, adding that he did not know how many of the 3,200 families in All Saints Parish, which includes seven churches in a region of 800 square miles, have pledged donations.

The anonymous donor also promised that if the church can raise another $300,000, they will pitch in an additional $100,000.

When complete, the 15,000-square-foot building will house a kitchen, meeting room, music room, adoration chapel, locker rooms, and an open space that will be used as an auditorium, cafeteria and gymnasium.

Construction is slated to be complete by early next year and the building is expected to open in the spring.

The next important phase, Baskerville said, will be furnishing the space and equipping it with appliances, alarms and sprinkler systems, then receiving a certificate of occupancy.

Baskerville said while the building will be “heavily used” by St. John’s Catholic School, parishioners and community members will also use it.

Some local businesses, he added, have already approached the church to inquire about using the space for meetings and conferences.

The idea for the multipurpose facility first arose roughly 10 years ago, when the church needed reception space after an affiliated Knights of Columbus Hall closed.

“It just became obvious that the school and the church needed someplace and we needed to proceed with what now has become (the multipurpose facility),” Baskerville said.

Though the town now has the Brunswick Recreation Center at Brunswick Landing, Baskerville said the new building will also fill a need for downtown recreation space.

Donations towards the effort can be made on the parish website or by sending a check with the word “campaign” written in the memo line to All Saints Parish in Brunswick.

Ultimately, Baskerville said the church community and the alumni of St. John’s have been generous in their contributions.

“I’ve moved around the country and been a part of a number of churches and schools, but never have (I) seen an elementary school in which the alumni are so loyal,” he said. “St. John’s is unique in that regard.”

Elizabeth Clemente can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or eclemente@theforecaster.net. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @epclemente.

St. John the Baptist Church received a $100,000 donation from an anonymous parishioner for its new multipurpose facility. The donor promised another $100,000 if the church raises $300,000 in new donations.

Work continues on the All Saints Parish Multipurpose Center on Pleasant Street in Brunswick.

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