St. Anne’s looks to expand


St. Anne’s looks to expand
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

SOUTHBOROUGH — St. Anne’s Church was built in 1887. Since then, the church served the Southborough community for “about 130 years,” according to Anne Colkitt, a member of the congregation and of the Building Committee.

According to Colkitt, there was a fire in the 1930s, and the church was rebuilt afterward.

While the church has served its community well with its current campus, there is an ongoing project to expand the campus to include a chapel, classrooms, more meeting space, a connector between the church and parish hall and an outdoor activity space for sports like pickleball and gardening.

“For our parishioners, we are at a place where we need to expand the church for generations to come. Specifically, we need to update the structure itself,” Colkitt said.

What is proposed

Colkitt said overall, it’s time to expand the church, and the idea is to make a space not only for the current families, but also for those in coming years.

“I was baptized into that church, and now I have children who will be attending. That’s the case for a lot of the families who attend there,” she said.

These updates include providing larger classroom spaces for education and adding bathroom facilities in the church so parishioners do not have to leave and go to the parish hall to use the bathroom.

The chapel will provide additional space for prayer and quiet, while the meeting rooms will be “an incredible opportunity for those folks who are going through the process of sacrament.”

Colkitt added, “This is a multimillion-dollar project.”

The funding for the project is coming from a capital campaign that more than a third of the families donated to, as well as a lot of “very generous parishioners who have provided gifts in kind.”

Many parishioners have businesses, specifically in construction and landscaping, and they are donating material and time.

According to the St. Anne’s Church website, $1,931,312 has been pledged of the $2 million goal, with $650,055 in payments received, and 147 families have pledged money for the expansion.

The concept for the expansion took off in 2020, said Colkitt. The church is in the infrastructure design phase and will prepare by improving water and electrical lines, building out the current septic system and examining the parking situation.

“All of that happens before we expand the actual structure of the church,” she added.

Architects and general contractors were recently interviewed.

St. Anne’s will be proceeding immediately with the physical expansion of the church when the architect and general contractor are selected, but the process itself might take a few years.

The ultimate goal for the project is to make services for the church community sustainable for many years so “we’re thinking about the future of our parish and those families as this parish continues to grow.”

“We also believe it is going to be an incredible opportunity for the surrounding Southborough community to take advantage of the space that we’re going to create,” said Colkitt.

There are many ideas on how to expand the outdoor space to create community opportunities, such as gatherings or to play pickleball, she said.

All ideas for the outdoor space will be finalized with the architect, she noted, but “these are the things that we’re hoping that really helps us reach out to the community.”

Colkitt said there are a lot of moving parts to the project and much to consider. There is an effort to keep the traditional aspects of the campus, while also looking at the impact for future generations.

She added, “There is just a lot of thought, candidly, that goes into this.”

A family effort

Being on the Building Committee is a great opportunity to give back to the church community she grew up in.

“It’s just been kind of an honor to be a part of this group and to help this church that’s given us so much as kids to continue to grow and thrive,” Colkitt said.

Her mother was part of a renovation since both the fire and the rebuild. It’s sort of a family effort with her sister to do something their mother would have done.

“[My mother] was just incredibly active in the St. Anne’s community,” she added. “She loved this church and the community so much.”

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