December 16, 2015
By

Waterford parish and school completely renovated, tech-friendly, and green

First graders at Our Lady of the Lakes School use their iPads in a reading class. Funded through school savings, every child enrolled in grades 1-12 at Our Lady of the Lakes now receives an iPad, all of which can be simultaneously accommodated through the school’s new Wi-Fi system, paid for through Changing Lives Together. The Catholic school is the first in the Archdiocese of Detroit to equip every student with an iPad.

First graders at Our Lady of the Lakes School use their iPads in a reading class. Funded through school savings, every child enrolled in grades 1-12 at Our Lady of the Lakes now receives an iPad, all of which can be simultaneously accommodated through the school’s new Wi-Fi system, paid for through Changing Lives Together. The Catholic school is the first in the Archdiocese of Detroit to equip every student with an iPad.

The pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes in Waterford says the parish and school communities have now completed every major facility improvement detailed in a master plan written 14 years ago. Since then, the Our Lasting Legacy and Changing Lives Together campaigns at Our Lady of the Lakes have transformed the shared campus through building and infrastructure improvements intended to enhance worship and learning as well as to attract new parishioners and students.

The first two phases of Our Lasting Legacy built a parish social hall and repaired the church building. The third phase of the Legacy effort was targeted at upgrading Our Lady of the Lakes School facilities and was timed to coincide with Changing Lives Together, in which nearly 550 parish households made pledges. The resulting funds covered the replacement of five old boilers and the installation of a state of the art wireless computer system enabling all students at the school to simultaneously work with the latest technology. Every light bulb in the school was replaced with high-efficiency lights, and every square inch of flooring with new tile and carpet. All suspended ceilings were replaced and virtually every other surface was repainted or refinished.

“The investment in the new boilers and lighting is already paying for itself because our natural gas usage is down by sixty percent, and our electric bills are down by fifty percent,” said Rev. Lawrence Delonnay, now in his 21st year as pastor at Our Lady of

The second phase of The Our Lady of the Lakes Legacy campaign put a new roof on the church building and funded interior repairs.

The second phase of The Our Lady of the Lakes Legacy campaign put a new roof on the church building and funded interior repairs.

the Lakes. “In terms of facilities, we’re now in great shape. We accomplished everything we wanted to do when we came up with our master plan in 2001.” The school is recovering from the loss of about 300 students during the 2008 recession which, combined with area demographics, has resulted in the closure of five public elementary schools in Waterford.

“If someone had asked me when I was ordained to define the perfect parish, I would have described Our Lady of the Lakes,” said Father Delonnay. “The people here are dedicated to Christ, each other, the parish, and the school. They don’t sacrifice one of the other and there is no competition between them. The people of Our Lady of the Lakes have always been known for their spirit of Christian love and service. That spirit can only grow in our new, beautiful environments.” The parish is now following a five-year strategic plan, in effect since June 2012.

 Changing Lives Together at
Our Lady of the Lakes

Pastor: Rev. Lawrence Delonnay
Parish founded: 1948
Registered households: 2,874
Campaign launch: April 2011
Goal: $1,069,498
Pledged: $842,492