StJB in Focus: Campus Project Overview & First Update 

Since our November 14th parish meeting with Bishop Rob, the St John’s vestry and Pastor Janet have been hard at work to bring the vision St John the Baptist campus reconfiguration into focus. Here is the campus project overview which addresses scope, timeframes, rough cost estimates, as well as recent and imminent highlights to keep you up to date. This overview and estimates are our best current analysis based on research, quotes and projections. It will be in constant flux as phases will overlap and the project will evolve when challenges and the unforeseen arise. Please stay tuned & be flexible!

We also commend and thank StJB’s dedicated parishioners who have stepped up to form the new StJB’s Building Committee, who will tackle this multi-phase project and submit all recommendations to StJB’s vestry for final approval. This includes committee leads, Dave Ginuta and Tina Firicano, as well as Dick Burke, James Cross (remotely), Kirt & Maureen Gillum, Martha Pike, and Cheryl Randall.

As Pastor Janet reminds us: ask questions, read (and respond) to e-mails (StJB’s weekly EBB will be key for news). The best way to know what’s going on is…GET INVOLVED in this exciting transformation.

As always, we welcome your input, comments and concerns; please e-mail

Phase I: Demolition of the St John’s Parish Hall (PH)

Scope: Clean out PH; permitting; utility/service shut offs (electric, water, empty/remove oil & propane tanks); Demolition/removal of StJB PH. Properly remove all debris, including asbestos. 

Timeframe: Clean out/Prep began 11/18; Utilities/permits 12/18; Demolition slated for 1/2/19. 

Projected Estimated Cost: under $19,000. StJB vestry approved PH phase I costs of up to $20,000 (11/18); about 60% from StJB’s Thrift Shop closing balance ($10,600+); rest from current StJB funds. There is also many PH ‘offset costs’, like $565, (so far), from selling PH furnaces, appliances, etc. Some things (e.g., oil reimbursement) will take weeks to finalize. Key vendors:

Danley Demolition Inc (Fremont, NH): Demo $13,500; Asbestos testing $625; & dumpster $800.

Accolade Environmental Contracting (Plaistow, NH); properly remove/dispose asbestos $3,200


After decades of serving the community, the St John’s Thrift Shop sadly closed 12/1/18. Much was sold; remaining items (almost 100 clothes bags & ~30 coats) were donated to Salvation Army & Wakefield Food Pantry. We commend and offer our enduring thanks to Ann Elkins and crew, who kept this important community service going for the last 11 years. We hope this StJB ministry will re-emerge collaboratively again soon. We also salvaged/stored: stained-glass exterior & double interior front doors; five brass chandeliers (potentially use in new addition); church files/records; StJB’s rector portraits; dishes, silverware, tables, & chairs. The StJB model replica was returned to the Randall family, as their Dad built it. Many were also upset about the beloved parish hall coming down, but are starting to understand its many issues (irreparable; kitchen & handicap access; flooding, asbestos, mold; and prohibitive heat/operations costs). In order to offer closure for all on this historic community building since 1894, we’re inviting all to a PH farewell (Dec 30th 11 am, see below).

There were initial concerns about our plans impacting StJB’s status in the National Registry of Historic Places (NRHP). StJB’s 1984 NRHP application, with detailed information and history, can be found at  Thankfully, our NRHP’s designation is largely honorific and will NOT impact any StJB campus reconfiguration plans. 

Phase II: Sell StJB Rectory  

Scope: Clean out Rectory, select realtor, stage/sell the StJB Rectory. Transfer utilities/services. 

Timeframe: Put rectory on market late winter/early spring 2019 (to hit spring market) with stipulation closing will NOT happen until at least AFTER Easter (4/21/19; this allows church bathroom access & meeting space through winter). We hope to sell the Rectory by summer 2019. 

Real Estate Agent: While Hayes and Seven Lakes Realty were assessed; vestry approved Seven Lakes to be the StJB Rectory’s selling agent andDave Giunta & Tina Firicano to sign realty contract.

Projected Asking Price: Likely$239,000 to $249,000; we hope to clear at least $200K to $210K. Proceeds from the Rectory sale are projected to fund 50-60% of the new church addition (Phase III). 

 Comments: There may be a 2-4 month period (mid spring to early fall of 2019) after the Rectory sale and before the addition is completed, where we may have no access to indoor plumbing/bathrooms or much meeting space. We’ll make every attempt to get plumbing into the initial building stage but we’ll also make do as best we can together in the warmer months (outdoor port-a-potty? tent?).

Phase III: New StJB Addition to Church

Scope: Prepare all site work, foundation, permitting and landscaping for addition. Plan and build a new energy efficient, handicap accessible semi-modular addition of approximately 1,800 square feet, attached to current StJB church through the chapel. This will be a parish hall for community dinners and events, and include a small kitchen, bathroom, office and classroom space. Considerations will be taken to maintain the beauty and integrity of StJB’s historic Gothic Revival architecture, better use/integrate StJB’s beautiful outdoor area, and reorient/redo parking. 

 Timeframe: Rough sketches and some preliminary site work have been approved. As plans progress, solid building and plot plans will be made available soon (target date: February 2019). We intend to break ground as early as late Spring 2019. Being a semi-modular design, Phase III completion target is July/August 2019. 

Projected Estimated Cost: $350,000 to $400,000.  While Rectory sale proceeds are projected to fund 50-60% of the Phase III addition, the addition is NOT contingent on the Rectory sale as we are looking at a loan from the Diocesan Advance fund. Of course, St John’s fundraising and building pledges from parishioners will also be of vital importance in paying for the new addition. 

Outside vendors: While not finalized, Dave Giunta, Tina Firicano & Pastor Janet have met with and are leaning toward hiring contractor John Rourke (Rourke Fine Home Building, LLC, Wolfeboro, NH). Rourke recently designed and built the addition at All Saints Episcopal Church in Wolfeboro, where he was ‘on-time and under budget’. It was agreed an architect is not needed for this project.

Comments: While current vestry efforts are focused on the imminent Parish Hall demolition, a few preliminary Phase III action items have been approved. For example, vestry approved (12/9/18) a $500 test pit check to proceed soon (while ground is still diggable), to determine if our current septic system is salvageable and potentially avoid a new septic design ($3,000 12/7/18, quote from Rourke) and perhaps even a new septic system. We’re also pursuing quotes on some possible tree removal as part of Phase III site prep and parking reorientation. As the new StJB Building Committee gears up on the campus reconfiguration project, initially focusing on design work, we’ll keep you updated on plans and progress. Don’t forget to attend 1) StJB Farewell to the Parish Hall (Dec 30th, 11 am); and 2) St John’s Annual Meeting (January 20th, 11 am in the Rectory).

Thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Please e-mail who continues to shepherd us through this project.

By Maureen Gillum,