St. Andrew’s parish opens new barrier-free meeting house

04 December 2023

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

A new meeting facility has been completed at St. Andrew’s parish offering more space and amenities for the growing parish in north central Edmonton.

The St. Pius X Meeting House was constructed as a barrier-free – accessible to people with disabilities – commercially designated building. The funds came from the sale of St. Plus X parish, hence the meeting house is named “St. Pius X Meeting House” and the plaque from the former parish is kept as a remembrance.  The $1.5-million meeting house has been a work in progress since before 2020.

The St. Pius X Meeting House is a barrier-free building.

The St. Pius X Meeting House is a great addition to the parish, said Deborah Schlag, St. Andrew’s parish council finance chair.

Parishioners were not asked to fund the building, but were kept informed throughout the build, she said, adding there were many challenges along the way, which added to the length of the process. The parish is glad it is finally coming to a close.

The meeting house honours the former St. Pius X parish.

Archbishop Richard Smith officially blessed the new St. Pius X Meeting House on Nov. 30, the feast day of St. Andrew.

The main level has a large, bright, open meeting area with a vaulted ceiling, comfortably welcoming about 100 to 125 people, a wall-mounted TV, and a kitchen space, with a refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and a stove with a commercial hood.

Archbishop Smith meets with St. Andrew’s parishioners after Mass on Nov. 30.

The lower level was designed to accommodate sacramental preparation and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Preschool Program. Through the installation of moveable walls, one large open space can be reconfigured into three separate spaces.

The lower level has high ceilings and is a bright, comfortable space with a kitchenette consisting of counter space, a sink, a refrigerator, and a microwave. Both levels have ample storage and millwork to accommodate resources and supplies.

Archbishop Smith meets with Knights of Columbus members after Mass.

It has a brick and hardie board exterior, with a metal roof, all designed to require minimal maintenance with good curb appeal for the neighborhood.

The St. Pius X Meeting House has an outdoor ramp and an indoor elevator (easily moving people with mobility challenges from the main level to the lower level). This feature is important to ensure all parishioners, especially seniors from the adjacent St. Andrew’s Centre, have access for meetings and programs.