With the same spirit of hospitality Abraham and Sarah gave three travelers in the Bible, the Archdiocese of Denver will build a new center that will assist the archbishop in carrying out his apostolate and that will provide a space for him to gather together with the faithful of northern Colorado.
This month, the archdiocese commenced work on a $6.5 million project to build the Holy Trinity Center on the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization campus in Denver. The center is funded exclusively by private donors—separate from A New Harvest campaign and the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal—and the archdiocese. Likewise, no parish funds are being used to fund this project.
The project grew out of a committee established in early 2013 by Archbishop Samuel Aquila to evaluate the current and future needs of the John Paul II Center campus, which includes the offices of the chancery, the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary, the Spirituality Year house for first-year seminarians, the Cardinal Stafford Library, the convent of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., and the archbishop’s residence.
The committee sought to focus on projects that would benefit the archdiocese for the next 100 years. It was found that the campus lacked a multi-use facility that didn’t interfere with the needs of the growing seminaries, take away from already limited classroom space, or disturb seminary life with public events.
The Holy Trinity Center was then conceived to solve space woes on the campus by combining the archbishop’s current residence with rooms for communal living and large-scale meetings, conferences, dinners and other functions. The project includes new infrastructure for the John Paul II Center with a new fire hydrant, fire lanes, parking, and improvements to the drainage of the property.
Prior to moving forward, Archbishop Aquila consulted members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, the College of Consultors and the Presbyterate Council as to the financial and pastoral considerations and requirements for the project.
Adam Hermanson, principal and owner of the Henderson-based Integration Design Group, said the center is designed to fulfill Archbishop Aquila’s primary work to serve the Church. Integration Design Group has and will continue to provide architectural design and oversight services for the Holy Trinity Center while Haselden Construction will serve as the general contractor.
He said the project will provide for additional meeting space on campus, as well as a place for the archbishop to welcome groups and host activities. Hermanson added that the building will be an asset to the archdiocese for years to come.
The current ranch home on the north side of the campus—with 3,196 square feet of living space—will undergo needed plumbing and insulation repairs and remodeling, and it will be updated to make it ADA compliant to enable a retired bishop or retired priest confessor for the seminary to live there in the future.
In February, construction will begin on the 13,500-square-foot addition that will feature a meeting room with a separate entrance, reception space for up to 150 guests on the main level, including a kitchen, library, chapel and terrace. The lower level will include storage space, as well as electrical and mechanical rooms.
The upper level, which accounts for approximately 20 percent of the total cost, will include an apartment for the archbishop, as well as two other apartments for priests, and two guest rooms for visitors to the seminary and archdiocese.
“Priests desire to live in community and it is part of what they need to serve well,” said Hermanson, who designed architecture for Holy Trinity Parish in Westminster and the St. Thomas Aquinas Center in Boulder.
The architectural plans reveal a design symbolizing the Holy Trinity.
“This motif of Trinity logic appears in all the center details,” Hermanson said.
Three arches above the main center entrance facing southward reflect the Trinity. The windows and doors to the chapel also have a three-part scheme, he said. The aesthetics will also echo other buildings on campus made with brick and red tiled roofs, he said.
Construction is anticipated to finish by early 2015.
“A lot of care was taken to make sure we’re doing the right thing for the archdiocese. The archbishop has been involved and careful in putting together the right vision,” Hermanson said, noting that the facility will serve the campus and archdiocese for several decades. “It’s intended to be a center that is receptive and that will serve the faithful of northern Colorado.”
The archbishop will welcome clergy, seminarians, young adults, consultative bodies and people from all parts of the archdiocese to the Holy Trinity Center throughout the year.
“I look forward to the Holy Trinity Center opening,” said Archbishop Aquila, “because it will enhance my ability to carry out my pastoral ministry to the faithful of northern Colorado.”