Infrastructure Renewal Project

Purpose: Initiate a renovation project infrastructure Parish of Our Lady of Andacollo to last five years.

Reason: It is a combination of improvements and new construction for safety reasons as well as comfort.

Much of the infrastructure of Parish Our Lady of Andacollo (PNSA) dates to its foundation. There are the remains of a channel that passes under the convent, like another that previously passed under the school.  Much of this infrastructure was badly damaged in the 1985 earthquake. The parish lost the top floor of the sector that runs along Avenida Mapocho, so that only a window remains from the previous second floor, where the church bells now hang. The church itself also suffered serious damage, and it was a total effort to repair what survived this earthquake. The earthquake of 2010 also did damage to the parish, but it was a minor damage in comparison. However, the 2010 earthquake revealed weaknesses before the next major earthquake. There are severe cracks, especially on two load-bearing walls of the soup kitchen. Also there is a sincere desire to improve conditions in the former rectory (now convent). We need to improve previous efforts to make the best of difficult situations with a more permanent solution. Finally, in the parish is believed that this is an opportune time for the project.

Project phases:

  1. Replace the roof on the sectiona along Calle Mapocho. When repaired after the earthquake of 1985, the roof was placed immediately on the trusses without any plywood and insulation to separate them. Then, every time someone has gone to do some work, the roof has suffered inundations as it has no support for the weight of the person on the roof.  Consequently, the roof  has several leaks. In the summer, the second floor suffers intolerable heat, and, in the winter, it lacks insulation to retain heat.
  2. Replace windows along Mapocho. New windows will reduce noise entering the building and better maintain interior temperature.
  3. Replace courtyard wall of the parish along the hallway and the pastor’s office.
  4. Rebuilding the following: area for the Scouts, soup kitchen, former rectory (now convent), catechism rooms, and bathrooms in a two-story building, adding a new entry between school and parish.

For more than a century PNSA has served Catholics in their neighborhood and beyond. It has formed four generations of Catholics that includes a canonized saint, an archbishop, several priests and religious, and lay people committed to God and the church. The parish has overcome years of poverty and earthquakes. The neighborhood is changing. The tenements remain, but several have been replaced by high rise buildings. A neighborhood population that fell for more than twenty years is now on the rise with new residents: immigrants and young adults. They live close to each other, but live in separate worlds. Young professionals, single and cohabiting, with few children, have chosen the neighborhood for the appeal of having all services and cultural spaces that the capital offers. At the same time, immigrants and seniors, with their loneliness and precarity are also numerous in the parish.

In this campaign, the parish intends to raise funds to build new structures: new convent, soup kitchen, new area for the Scouts, new catechetical classrooms, and a new link between school and parish.

PNSA has invested in its infrastructure, mostly after earthquakes since Holy Cross came to the parish. In previous renovations after great losses, imposing costs forced cuts to reduce expenses in the construction (for example, the roof rests on top of the rafters, without plywood and insulation).

In addition, damage 2010 leaves the soup kitchen as a danger. There are three roofs that join over this space, two for each of two major walls. There was significant damage that caught the attention of engineers, but they did not demand the closing of the soup kitchen.

The convent has no interior bathrooms. The sisters have to go to the patio, in summer and  winter, to reach their bathroom. Furthermore, other works have made the plumbing very complicated, necessitating a new construction. Also, the sisters did not have a chapel as envisaged in the new house.

Today, there are two doors between parish and school. One is a large door to the west side of the church. The other door is a storeroom. It does not say «welcome.» The project would provide a new entry with the image of Christ when he said to the apostles: «They let the children come to me.» The classrooms for catechesis will accommodate 15 people. These rooms would be available for use by the school during the day. The Colegio Nuestra Señora de Andacollo needs smaller spaces for academic reinforcement, which are deemed necessary for the school’s academic progress.

In making this construction, we can better care for the needy, the parishioners themselves, our sisters, and our students.

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