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Truckee church looks ahead to relocation

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunA service takes place at Assumption Catholic Church in Truckee Sunday.
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The congregation of Truckee’s Assumption Catholic Church has kicked off its capital campaign to raise an estimated $5.7 million for a new place of worship.

Last August, East West Partners, owners of the Gray’s Crossing development, donated eight acres of land to the church, which is currently located on East Street. The agreement gave the parish three years to raise funds for the new church, and five years to begin construction.

The tract designated for the new church is across Alder Drive from Alder Creek Middle School. The structure will be about 9,000 square feet, and is designed to seat approximately 350 parishioners, more than double what the current church holds, said campaign chair Neil Cunningham.



“When we started this, there was an anxiety over how it would work, but now there is just a huge amount of excitement,” said Cunningham. “The donated land was a big boost to move things ahead.”

Another major boost to the construction plans was the $1 million the parishioners raised over the last eight weeks in a successful capital campaign.



“Basically, we asked people individually to prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift,” said Cunningham. “The next step of the campaign is to generate more publicity through newsletters, and talking to people in the Masses.”

With $1 million already in the coffers from a building fund Father Stanley started in 1995, and the $1 million recently donated, the church is well on its way to achieving the projected cost of $5.7 million.

When Father Stanley joined the church in 1995, he contended that it was time for a new facility. The current structure was built in 1890, but was moved in 1907 and again in 1949.

“It has seen its day,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham is not the only one who thinks so. In an August poll, nearly 90 percent of parishioners thought that it was time for a new building, said campaign director Armando Balbuena.

“The age and location of the parish make reconstruction an immediate thing that needs to happen,” said Armando. “With Truckee, the size of the parish now does not accommodate folks here and the out-of-town community.”

Father Stanley said he does not know what will happen with the existing church once a new facility is completed, but he is certain the new location will provide more social space, additional religious programs and extra parking.

Under the agreement with East West, the church still has two years to complete financing, and four years to begin construction.

“If all goes well, we’re targeting the spring or summer of 2009 to begin construction,” said Cunningham. “I’m convinced this is going to be a landmark for Truckee.”


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