Repair Project

We want to keep our Parish updated on developments about our repair project. Below are listed notes with the more recent reports being at the top of this page; the older ones are below.

Building Committee Members: Fr Phil, Fr Steven, Marian Hoffarth, Duane Otto, Dennis Schill, Corey Hoffarth, Gary Bimbler, Corey Stremick 

Report to the Parishes at Weekend Masses, January 28, 2018

Repair Project Update: We received 2 bids for our project. The base bid from one of the contractors was $205,705.00. The other base bid submitted by D & M of Grand Forks and Fargo came in at $48,300.00. Part of the reason is the how the repair is to be done. D & M are proposing to do the repair project by creating an opening in the roof to complete the work needed. Also, there will be additional costs that are not included in the base bid. Another additional expense is the need to build a new catwalk in the attic. The present one is in very poor condition and does not meet insurance standards. Another addition would be shingling the roof. That would cost $81,200.00. It also includes the Fellowship Hall and rectory. The EAPC Firm raised some questions about the need to do this now; they estimate that we have 5 years left on the present roof. Other additional costs include insulation and attic ventilation issues. The Diocese of Fargo wants our Parish Building Committee’s approval before the bid is accepted. The Building Committee will meet on Monday night to discuss the bid from D & M. It is possible that the project could begin as early as mid-March. However that is subject to change. The project would take 4-5 weeks to complete.   

Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, January 21, 2018

Repair Project Update: The Bid Opening Meeting was held this past Wednesday, January 17th. Two bids were submitted. The EAPC Firm is now studying the bids to make sure all the specifications are included in the bids. Also the two bids did not have some of the alternate packages included. The EAPC Firm will contact them to get those amounts. Alternate packages include items such as re-roofing the church, Fellowship Hall and possibly the rectory; chimney removal and insulation.

Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, January 7, 2018 

Building Project update: EAPC, the engineering and architectural firm held a Pre-Bid Meeting this past Thursday. One contractor came to the meeting. However, other contractors are also interested in our repair project. A Bid Opening Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 17th at EAPC in Grand Forks. 


Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, November 19, 2017

Building Repair Update: Earl Wilhelm, Properties Manager of the Diocese of Fargo met with our Building Committee on Thursday. We received a report for the repair plans. As we were previously told, the repairs will not be as extensive as we thought.

*   The Bid package for the Repair Plan will be completed by the second week of December. It will also include cost estimates for the project. Bids will be available for contractors to review. Notices of the Bid package will be announced in our local newspaper, The Exchange or by contacting Casey Hutton at EAPC. Phone 701 775-3000. Earl Wilhelm, Properties Manager for the Diocese of Fargo can also be contacted by cell phone at 218 790-1120. The bidding package will be open for bids 10 days to 2 weeks.

*   The removal of grout can take place either of 2 ways:  make an opening in the roof or going through the ceiling inside the church. It’s up to the contactor to give us their input.

*   The west high wall will be stabilized by metal rods bolted to the rafters inside the attic

*   The roof of the church must be re-shingled. The corners of the west wing will not be worked on. The EAPC Firm feels that the repairs made in the past are sufficient.




Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, October 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 2017

No update. We are waiting for a report from EAPC.


Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, October 1, 2017

Building Repair Update: Two engineers from the EAPC Firm came on Thursday, September 28, 2017 to do their on site investigation and study of our church building. They finished their work in 3 hours. They told us that it’s likely that the repair project would not be as extensive as we first thought. However, it will take them a few weeks to give us a report and a repair plan. 

Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, September 24, 2017

Building Repair Update: An engineer from the EAPC Firm is scheduled to do the site investigation this Monday. After the site investigation, a study will be done to create a plan for repairs. It may take 2 weeks or longer to receive a report on our repair plan.


Report the Parish at Weekend Masses, September 17, 2017

The EAPC Firm indicated they plan to make their site investigation visit this week. At this time, there is no new information regarding our repair project.



Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, September 10, 2017

Building Repair Update: The EAPC Firm is planning to do their site investigation next week (week of September 18, 2017). The specific date for the site investigation has not been set. After that date, there would need to be approximately two weeks of study. After the site investigation is complete, they will be able to give us a better estimate on the construction time frame to complete the repairs.


Report to the Parish at Weekend Masses, September 3, 2017

Church Building Update:

We are relieved to find that our church building can be repaired. We received a report on Tuesday of this past week from the structural engineer who examined our church building:


Summary of the August 25, 2017 Report from EAPC, Grand Forks, ND: 

The west end high wall was observed to be in an unstable condition with loose mortar and concrete along the joint of the roof framing presenting an overhead falling hazard to the area below. Other issues such as water damage, brick wall damage and foundation damage were observed in EAPC’s site visit as well. We recommend repairs be made to stabilize the building’s foundation to prevent further damage to the building’s walls. Due to the damage already occurred to the west end high wall, including the damage at the roof purlin bearing pocket, we recommend this wall be removed and rebuilt. The design of these repairs are beyond the scope of this report.


We recommend the loose concrete and mortar be removed immediately to prevent any further damage to the ceiling and area below should this material fall completely. People should not be allowed to enter the area below until the loose piece have been removed. Care should be taken in removing the pieces of concrete/mortar as not to worsen the condition of the already unstable west end high brick wall. 


August 31, 2017

EAPC has offered this Service Agreement to us:


Service Agreement dated August 31, 2017 includes:

· Complete site visit(s) to complete additional measurements and observations to continue with the design of repairs required for the structure.

· Provide structural repair design drawings, notes, details and/or specifications outlining the work required to repair the west end high wall and the damaged foundations at the west end of the structure.

· Suggested solutions to repair the water/insulation problems at the tops of the north and south walls.

· Provide a budget estimate of the cost of the repairs described above. 

We do not know when the repair work will begin. The architectural firm will make additional site visits, prepare a plan for repairs. We have barely begun this process. We are grateful for the help of the Diocese of Fargo. Thank you for your patience as we continue to celebrate our Masses and other liturgies in our school gym. This overall plan will take months.  


Letter read at all Masses on August 20, 2017

Dear Parishioners:

We are devastated regarding the news that our beautiful church building is structurally unsafe. How did we discover this? We made an application for an insurance claim to the Diocese of Fargo regarding some leaks in our roof and damage to the church. Earl Wilhelm, Properties manager of the Diocese of Fargo came to our parish on Wednesday, August 16th, to do an inspection. He was alarmed at the structural condition in our church attic. He told us that we must have a structural engineer to assess our church building as soon as possible. The engineer made his inspection on Friday.

The structural engineer told us that our church building is structurally unsafe. The west end of the building has been gradually sinking over the years. However, it has increased substantially these past 5 months. The sinking of the west end of our Church has caused the main west wall of the church to pull away from the church. This is causing the concrete grout in the rafters in the attic to crumble and even fall. There are some large pieces of concrete grout--the largest being about 400 lbs. This could potentially fall through the ceiling of the church and land on the church floor. All the crumbling grout that is loose or dangling is above the altar area. However, as the grout continues to crumble and fall, it could further separate the brick wall of the church from the rafters. There is a potential situation that the brick wall could tumble and fall. This could also cause the west end of the main church roof to collapse. We were shocked at the structural condition of our church. Therefore, the Diocese of Fargo has requested that our church building be vacated (the church building is not condemned). It is off limits for Masses and any events. Unfortunately, this means we had to lock our church doors for safety reasons. We don't know when or how long it will take before the church is repaired. It could take months. We are grateful that no one has been injured up to this time. It's overwhelming to all of us. Let us pray for the Lord's help as we move forward to meet the challenges before us.  

What happens next? There are still more studies to be done in the building and around the building, such as soil testing. The study of what is needed will take a few weeks or longer. We will keep you informed as we learn more of the results of the research of our church building.

Our current Sunday and weekday Mass schedule will not change. We have cancelled Adoration temporarily until we have details worked out. The Fellowship Hall (between the church and rectory) will remain open to all our parishioners and is able to be used for meetings, gatherings or just having coffee.

This is a most difficult time for all of us. I am grateful for all the help, support and prayers we have experienced these past few days. 


Fr Phil Ackerman 


This is the letter addressed to our parish from Bishop Folda on August 19, 2017  

Dear brothers and sisters, 

I have been informed that St. Alphonsus Church is closed due to some structural problems, and I want you to know that my prayers are with all of you.  Even though this is a great inconvenience, I know you will understand that this is necessary for safety reasons.  Hopefully the repairs can be made quickly, and you will be back in your church as soon as possible.  But in the meantime, remember our Lord’s words: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Wherever you gather as a parish family, our Lord will be with you!  Once again, be assured of my prayers, and know that we will assist in any way possible.  God bless you! 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Bishop John Folda