St. Anthony Facilities Update


September 26, 2020


Dear St. Anthony Parishioners and Our Lady of Guadalupe families,


As part of strategic planning for the future of Catholic education in Dubuque, Holy Family is addressing the declining conditions of elementary facilities throughout the school system. Highlighted through community engagement meetings in the past year, each elementary site has a unique set of needs related to building repair, and unfortunately, St. Anthony faces some of the greatest challenges among them.


A long-range facility planning study conducted by Wold Architects and Engineers in 2011 identified $2.6 million in existing facility deficiencies in the St. Anthony Steinmetz building (the newer building) and another $2.5 million in the St. Anthony Stemm Center building (attached to the church). With each study and each passing year, costly and necessary repairs continue to surface. The most pressing concerns today are related to the Steinmetz building.


In September, the condition of the Steinmetz building was presented to St. Anthony’s parish council, and it was agreed that it is most appropriate to be transparent with the history of repairs and current condition of the building. We are prayerfully seeking guidance on our way forward.


In 2014, Holy Family and St. Anthony parish jointly invested $300,000 to repair significant structural damage in the school gymnasium. This was followed by a twenty-six page report in 2018 that highlighted additional needs for the Steinmetz building and showcased the extent of internal and external damage that has accumulated over time.


Most recently, St. Anthony worked with Jackson Tuckpointing to assess water-penetration and the continued, gradual deterioration of the overall building. This assessment outlined $400,000 in necessary near-term improvements to the school building. These improvements would be temporary due to the absence of insulation and the weather-related shifting that occurs each winter season. When considering the short-term and long-term needs on the St. Anthony campus, the Holy Family facilities committee determined it would be unwise to invest any resources in the Steinmetz building as it is only a short-term solution.


It is our responsibility, as partners in Catholic education, to define our next steps and the pathway forward. We ask that you be a part of this important process.


We estimate it will cost $7 million to build a new school at the St. Anthony campus. St. Anthony would need to fundraise approximately $5 million and partner with Holy Family for the balance of the project. This building would essentially preserve and renovate the gymnasium and cafeteria while building new adjoining classrooms to accommodate PK-5 students.


In light of these circumstances, the Holy Family Board of Education has commissioned a professional space study of the internal and external facilities at Holy Family’s Kane Street property, home of Wahlert Catholic High School and Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School. This study aims to determine whether or not there is capacity to serve Our Lady of Guadalupe PK-5 students at this site.


With input from our vested community members and information gleaned from this space study, St. Anthony and Holy Family will jointly determine whether Our Lady students should remain at St. Anthony pursuing a new school building, or they should transition to the Holy Family campus in subsequent years. We encourage you to take part in our survey linked below and to reach out with additional questions you may have.


Please pray that God sheds His guiding light on the path forward for our faith community.


Yours in Christ –

Fr. Steve Rosonke
St. Anthony Pastor

Phil Bormann
Holy Family Chief Administrator

Community Input Survey:

Please let us assure you – the students and staff who currently occupy the St. Anthony school buildings are not in harm’s way. Rather, we recognize this as the moment we must take action to ensure a safe and enriching school environment for our students in the years ahead.

Key factors for consideration:

  • In 2011, Wold Architects and Engineers identified $2.6 million in existing facility deficiencies in the St. Anthony Steinmetz building and $2.5 million in the St. Anthony Stemm Center building.
  • St. Anthony and Holy Family are faced with $400,000 in necessary repairs at the Steinmetz building, following a recent $300,000 investment in structural repairs of the gymnasium.
  • Continuing to invest significant funds in short-term repairs of the current school building is not a fiscally viable option.
  • A new building for St. Anthony–Our Lady of Guadalupe is estimated to cost $7 million, which would be paid for by St. Anthony parishioners and Holy Family Catholic Schools.
  • Holy Family Catholic Schools is conducting a space study on its Kane Street campus, home of Wahlert Catholic High School and Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School to determine its capacity to serve Our Lady of Guadalupe PK–5 students.

The following video provides a visual overview of current facility conditions:

Estimated Decision Timeline:

  • September–October 2020 – Community input will be gathered, and a space study will be conducted at the Holy Family campus. The community input survey will remain open through Friday, October 16, 2020.
  • October –The St. Anthony Pastoral Council and Holy Family Board of Education will review survey data and the Holy Family space study.
  • November – A decision will be announced regarding the next steps for St. Anthony Parish and Holy Family Catholic Schools.