Costa Mesa Church Overcomes Pandemic Sticker Shock for New Restrooms

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A Costa Mesa religion volition yet interruption crushed adjacent week connected a long-overdue task to make much restrooms, aft the terms tag for the renovation skyrocketed during the pandemic and fundraising efforts stalled.

Saint Joachim Catholic Church, which was built successful 1965, has a capableness for astir 750 people, but lone 1 bath each for men and women.

According to Parish Director Ree Taylor, different restrooms are disposable successful the church’s parish hall, but specified tin beryllium inconvenient for the disabled oregon for families with children.

Back successful 2019, religion officials received an estimation of $600,000 to conception a caller 62-foot by 20-foot gathering specifically for the restrooms and started fundraising, asking parishioners to donate to the cause. Any other could spell toward upgrading the church’s heating and aerial conditioning strategy and for the installation of star lights.

“Our archetypal pledges told america that we were going to scope the $1 cardinal mark,” Taylor said.

But, arsenic the religion was unopen down successful 2020 owed to COVID restrictions, donations dwindled. And then, the adjacent year, hackers attacked the church’s machine database—demanding a $100,000 ransom, which religion officials refused.

Not lone did it past look a fiscal setback to acquisition caller computers, but it lost, adjacent much importantly, its accounting of parishioners’ pledges for the caller bathrooms. At the time, it had received astir $500,000.

And past successful Jan. 2022 the religion received an updated outgo estimation for the renovations. It had jumped to $900,000, owed to an summation successful the outgo of materials, proviso concatenation shortages, arsenic good arsenic labour outgo increases—an economical trifecta brought connected by COVID-19.

Since then, the religion has made up the difference, borrowing from savings and incrementally bringing successful $25,000 successful 2022 during its 75th anniversary, and passing peculiar postulation plates reaping different $24,000, Father Michael Hanifin said.

Tacos were adjacent sold connected weekends aft wide for the effort, which helium jokingly called “tacos for toilets.”

Three neighboring parishes besides came to the rescue donating astir $200,000.

“When I was asking for money, [priests astatine the parishes] said ‘We’ve seen those bathrooms. This task is agelong overdue,’” helium said. “They felt my pain, and truthful they were much than consenting to help.”

The caller gathering volition person 1 men’s restroom with 2 stalls and 3 urinals; and 1 caller women’s restroom with 5 stalls. The facilities volition incorporate babe changing stations, person touchless fixtures, and beryllium compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The caller gathering besides promises to beryllium a bonus for religion weddings. Previously, a bride would person to locomotion from a dressing country done the religion afloat of wedding guests to participate the nearest bathroom.

They volition present beryllium capable to usage the caller building’s bath area, which has backstage entree from the dressing area, allowing her to uncover her wedding gown lone erstwhile she walks down the aisle, not towards a toilet.