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This artist’s rendering is of a proposed multipurpose parish center at St. Columbkille Catholic School.

St. Columbkille Catholic School has big plans in the works.

The parish is planning major renovations to the school and other facilities, the most significant of which will be a multipurpose parish center on the current site of a preschool building on the northwest corner of Monroe and Fifth streets. The building is projected to cost between $6.75 million and $8.2 million and will include a multipurpose gym, meeting rooms, a preschool and day care.

The parish has pledges for $6.1 million.

The church is also updating its air conditioning system, social hall and kitchen and demolishing two buildings on the west side of Jefferson Street to add parking and possibly a new playground, all of which are projected to cost $1.2 million.

The parish will need consent to move forward from the Archdiocese of Omaha after prices have been finalized through the bidding process.

St. Columbkille pastor Fr. Dave Reeson said the church is updating its facilities in order to be better accommodating for parishioners and community members.

He noted exercise classes for seniors as one example because they’ve at times had to have them do sessions outside in the parking lot.

He also said the preschool will be more accommodating for parents who currently have to pick up their kids from preschool halfway through the day.

“We offer these services but we don’t have the space for the demands we have,” he said.

The church has been growing, Reeson said, as the St. Columbkille parish now serves more than 3,300 families and 10,000 parishioners, the fourth largest in the Archdiocese.

“I believe that the parishioners are excited and very supportive of our expansion project,” Reeson said. “This need has been talked about for many years and we are now moving forward.”

One of the two buildings across Jefferson Street was burned down Thursday in a training exercise for the Papillion Fire Department and the other is scheduled to be torn down this week, weather permitting, Reeson said.

AC upgrades, parking additions and social hall updates could be completed over the summer and early fall while the proposed multipurpose parish center is scheduled to be completed next fall.

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