Assumption Church revamp (continued)
Martin is a native of Windsor and Rohmer - a graduate of Assumption High School and Assumption University - was University of Windsor Chancellor for 14 years.
The trust is seeking to raise a minimum of $9.6 million to make badly needed repairs to the church building. But its fundraising will go beyond that.
A master plan includes a glassed-in heritage learning centre between Holy Rosary Chapel on the west side and the church.
The heritage centre would provide an interactive computer where the public could learn about the church’s history.
From there, there would be a “directed path” where visitors could walk around the church grounds with story boards informing them about the church’s history.
Assumption is the oldest Catholic parish west of Montreal, and a Windsor civic and architectural icon.
The church also is in a strategic location at an entranceway to Canada.
Assumption Heritage Trust president John Laframboise says the trust is working with the University of Windsor and the City of Windsor to link the redeveloped site with a revamped entrance to the university, as well as to provide a “natural” link to Assumption Park and the Odette Sculpture Park across the street along the river.
Laframboise said the aim is to establish an endowment to maintain the religious and heritage site in years to come. He said more information on how much additional money would be needed will be known after studies are completed in the spring.
There would also be a new Public Gardens on the site. These would be created on property including what is now parking spaces on the church’s east side. The spaces would be relocated to the south side.
Laframboise said the asphalt needs to be removed because it was found that vibrations from vehicles were damaging the church.
“So we’re going to link our plan to the strategic plan of the University of Windsor because the university doesn’t have a lot of green space.”
The entranceway will also be upgraded including a new drop-off area for tour buses.
Other members of the “Patron’s Circle” fundraising committee are a who’s-who of well-known residents or those long associated with the city including Gerald Freed, Clifford Hatch, Alan Wildeman and Anne Winterbottom.