Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 24, 2002
School district sets up shop in new church
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"Our relationship with parish and home is very important to us."
- Gerald Bernakevitch
The area covered by the rental agreement is 4,400 square feet but in practical terms the division uses 5,500 square feet as it has access to the 1,100-square-foot Knights of Columbus chamber, which it uses as a boardroom.
Nine staff use the offices on a daily basis, including the superintendent of schools and his deputy, the receptionist, the treasurer and the religious education coordinator.
"This enhances our relationship with the parish," said Bernakevitch. "It demonstrates to the whole Holy Trinity community that Evergreen and the Holy Trinity Parish have a positive, caring relationship about each other. There are so many opportunities to grow and nurture our Catholic faith in this kind of environment."
According to the board chair, the space being used by the Evergreen division was not going to be developed for 10 to 15 years because the parish didn't have the money to do it.
"We came up with the idea that if they are not going to use it, there is an opportunity for us to perhaps move our board offices here." The board's former lease was about to expire.
He said the district paid for the development of the area and also prepaid its rent for five years when it bought about $80,000 worth of pews for the church. Rental costs are about $5 a square foot plus operating costs, he said.
"This (arrangement) certainly illustrates the spirit of collaboration that exists between the school board and the parish," said parish secretary Wendy Moisan. She said the school division's operations do not interfere with parish activity because the entities have separate entrances.
Father Paul Terrio, the parish pastor, said the arrangement is "convenient" for the school board but he declined further comment because the agreement was reached prior to his taking over as pastor on Feb. 18.
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