NAMPA -- A Nampa church built more than 100 years ago has a for-sale sign out front. The sale includes a full block (just over two acres) with several historic buildings.
Saint Paul's Catholic Church and School has grown over the years and now is building a new church. With that move, the parish is selling its current property for $2.4 million.
The current St. Paul's church building dates back to 1910. The inside has beautiful, historic reminders of the church's past: Stained glass windows, statues, and original pews. But the historic nature of the building means a lot of maintenance.
"The sewer pipes actually rotted out because they were so old," Dan Jones, St. Paul's Business Manager, said.
In addition to maintenance issues, Saint Paul's has a capacity issue. If they want to expand, there isn't much room. They already have four masses each Sunday (two in Spanish).
"The capacity [in the church building], according to fire code, is 550 or 600. If we want to expand, if we want to have more people involved, we can't put them in here. We're splitting by the seams," Jones said.
In the late 90s, the parish decided the best solution was to build a new home on property it owns west of the current campus. They will first construct a new church building, then a new school.
"The plan was we would raise funds to build the church, to construct the church and then sell this property to become seed money for building the education center," Jones said.
With a church building steeped in history, no doubt there are families that feel a bit of sadness, but there is a lot of excitement looking forward to the new facilities.
"There is some [sadness], but there's also some excitement about building a new church. It doesn't happen all the time," Jones said. "That's a rarity, a new Catholic church being built, because they last forever."
The new church building will eventually be able to seat twice as many people as the current St. Paul's. The parish already has the church construction funded and is working on raising money for what goes inside, like pews. The new church building is set to open February 2013.
The sale of the parish property will go toward building a new school. For now, the school and its more than 150 students will stay in their current building.
"The idea is hopefully within the next couple years is to sell this property so we can start building the school over there," Jones said.
So far, Jones says the church has had some groups interested in the property, but no buyer just yet. He says some of the interest has come from schools looking at the property and buildings.
The parish will keep the stained glass windows, brass bell, crucifixes and statues to place into the new church.