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Immaculate Conception Parish

A New Catholic Church: This project was to construct a new Catholic church on the foundations of an older church that was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The new church was constructed in Calais, Maine.

Program features included a worship space seating approximately 500 people, baptistery, sanctuary, reconciliation chapel, stations of the cross, sacristy, sacrarium, narthex, parish hall, commercial kitchen, classrooms, church offices, restrooms, and other support space, and a rectory. The project also included parking and drop off areas for the building.

The project was notable for several reasons:

  • The church was designed according to Vatican II requirements and included the baptistery at the entrance to the church, a side platform for the tabernacle, and for the reservation of the Host, but it had more traditional pew seating facing the sanctuary wall.
  • While the previous church was destroyed by fire, its foundations survived and were reused in the creation of the new building. However, the massing of the new building was completely different, reflecting the new needs of the parish and new ideals in church design.
  • This project was funded by a replacement insurance policy. A significant part of the work of the architect involved the negotiation of the value of the previous church as compared to the cost of the new church, considering new code requirements and current liturgical requirements.
  • The design for this church incorporated stained glass windows rescued from another building. Each window was funded by a parishioner.
  • The pews for this church were custom fabricated for the building and procured by the church outside of the contract for construction.
  • The facility had a new commercial kitchen, donated in its entirety by a parishioner.
  • The building was constructed in a rural agrarian setting and takes its design cues from monastic architecture. Its massing includes barn-like forms reminiscent of adjacent vernacular farm architecture.

The total Construction Cost for the project was approximately $3,000,000, delivered under a traditional design-bid-build contract.

Carter Architectural Design staff led, managed, and designed this project while employed at WBRC Architects/Engineers.