Fate of Wamego church uncertain

WAMEGO (KSNT) – The old Saint Bernard’s Catholic Church is covered in Ivy and some of the windows have been boarded up.

And there isn’t much else that can be said for the other buildings on the property that was once owned by the Archdioceses of Kansas City in Kansas.

Two years ago, the archdioceses sold the land and most of the buildings to the Wamego Unified School District. The parish moved north of the town in 2010 but it was established in 1908.

“You know, the board had some ideas that were discussed in executive session. They just thought it was a strategic move to own that corner of that land because our high school sits directly across the street,” said Denise O’Dea, the superintendent of schools for USD 320.

But for the last two years, the land and the buildings have been practically untouched. And even though the physical church building is still owned by the archdiocese an architect working with the district did present plans for a possible renovation.

The cost of that renovation would be close to $500,000 and the architect from BBN Architects told the school board they would not get much use out of it. Calls made to the company for clarification were not returned.

However, the plans presented by the architect are not final.

“But, you need to keep in mind these are all conceptual ideas,” she said about the plans presented for the church and other buildings in the district.

The archdiocese does have the ability to say no to any future plans or sale of the church building that was originally slated for demolition in July. But, they waited so “the school district could further assess option for the church building.” According to the statement, the school district asked the archdiocese to postpone the demolition in December of last year.

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