2006-08-19 / Top News

Steeple Reconstruction Plan To Begin Despite Low Funding

By Leslie Rott

The steeple at Ste. Anne's Catholic Church is rotting and will be replaced in a $225,000 project this fall. The steeple at Ste. Anne's Catholic Church is rotting and will be replaced in a $225,000 project this fall. The Ste. Anne's Catholic Church steeple restoration project is being expanded to include the side deck of the church, a renovation that is needed because deterioration there is slowly leaking water into the museum in the church basement. The museum tells the story of the historic parish and contains irreplaceable items, including a reliquary, home altars, and medals. The side deck is where the church holds weekly sqaure dances during summers.

So far, the church has raised about $70,000 for the project, which is estimated to cost at least $225,000. It includes reconstruction of the steeple, a new steeple roof, attic walkways, and the deck. Another $345 has been raised since June.

The Marquette Diocese is reviewing the plans, said Urvana Morse, a member of the parish Building and Grounds Committee. Project treasurer, Jennifer Bloswick, said the diocese has been approached for a no-interest loan for the remaining cost of the project.

Two funds were established with the Mackinac Island Community Foundation to help raise money for the project. One is a pass-through account to collect money for the steeple restoration and the other is an endowed fund to collect donations earmarked for perpetual care of the building.

Ste. Anne's was constructed in 1874, and the Island parish dates to 1670.

Plans to restore the steeple began several years ago when rotting wood on the exterior of the steeple became apparent. The City of Mackinac Island began addressing traffic issues related to the restoration last summer, caused by fencing and a lift that will be needed to reach the steeple, which will block part of the street.

Construction is slated to begin September 18, with Mike Gamble of M.P. Gamble Construction as the contractor.

Another parish project is the remodeling of the kitchen in the rectory, which is being funded from the general parish budget.

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