As I wrote that headline, I was curious myself about what this article was going to be about. First, though, I want to thank central Wisconsin for your support of Panacea. It was fun to walk around the grounds and see all of the smiling faces, hard-working Catholic school volunteers, wonderful entertainers and all of the activities that make Panacea an important festival in the region and fundraiser for the Catholic schools. Mark your calendar for the 40th celebration Sept. 5 to 7, 2014.
Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools (SPACS) are in the midst of a facility optimization and grade configuration study. This is an exciting time as we peek ahead to what SPACS might look like in the next few years and beyond. Throughout the process, we will continue our focus on personalized education with small class sizes, faith-based education, mentoring and numerous out-of-classroom opportunities for our students.
The process for SPACS actually began several years ago and since my tenure we are closing in on what we know will be the best decision for the schools. What will make the decision even more challenging will be the fact six of the seven buildings we utilize are not owned by the schools. Pacelli High School is the only facility SPACS owns. The central office space is leased and the other five are owned by the parishes.
SPACS has been blessed by our partnership with the parishes in the Stevens Point Deanery. The parishes in the deanery support the schools and students in a variety of ways. Six parishes provide one-third of our annual revenue and the others provide additional support. The parishes support the maintenance of the five school buildings we use. We are not only linked spiritually with the parishes but also financially.
The parishes do this because they realize the importance of the schools in supporting their mission and having meaningful dialogue, education and interaction regarding the student's faith. The students and families carry that into the parishes at weekend masses and other parish activities. It is a unique and special relationship and provides for an incredible environment for positive community-centered experiences. Remember the good old days of neighborhoods - we do it in a slightly different way.
Our committees have been reviewing the information and we were recently provided some basic cost data by Ellis Stone Construction. Our administrative team and volunteer committee will next come up with a preliminary plan to determine the best scenario for our facilities and grade configuration. That scenario will be shared with the community and we are counting on moving forward after the first of the year with a fundraising feasibility study and finalized facility plan, including grade configuration changes.
Because if nothing changes, then nothing changes!