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New diocesan pastoral center to be built across the street from Cathedral

Aerial view of the new Diocesan Pastoral Center with foothills in the distance

The new Diocesan Pastoral Center will be built across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (see map). “Most Chancery offices are located near their cathedral,” said Jared Schmidt of Lombard Conrad Architects in Boise. Schmidt is the senior architect for this project and is also a member of St. John’s parish, with a daughter enrolled at St. Joseph’s Catholic school on the same campus. “I can’t mess this up!” he said, noting construction will be in full view of the parish and school, and the new building will ultimately be part of the campus.

View from the Cathedral showing main entrance.

“Our design is driven by the way in which people will use the building,” said Alexis Townsend, president of Lombard Conrad Architects. “Our architectural approach is focused on getting the function right. Instead of creating a building to which people must adapt, this approach designs the building to meet their needs.”

View in relationship to the Cathedral showing the courtyard.

The three-story Diocesan Pastoral Center will feature incredible views of the foothills, as well as, our own beautiful Cathedral. It will include a lecture hall and classroom, as well as a “Gathering Commons” -- having an attached prep kitchen for large group events. “The Gathering Commons is a really dynamic space with many windows and a vaulted ceiling. It will feel like an important community space, not just a conference room,” said Townsend. The Gathering Commons will open onto a beautiful, enclosed courtyard where event participants can visit outside. “It’s a well thought out design at every level,” said Schmidt.

Sandstone from Table Rock will clad the exterior, matching that of the Cathedral, whose stone comes from the same quarry. But the new Diocesan Pastoral Center is scaled to complement, rather than overshadow.

Lombard Conrad Architects are no strangers to Catholic projects. They were already working with Fr. Justin Brady at St. Paul’s parish in Nampa, developing a master plan and design concepts for a new school that will sit near their church. Likewise, they are helping Bishop Kelly High School with design ideas for their new chapel. Townsend explained that last year 90% of their revenue came from non-profits as well as city and state agencies.

First floor plan showing classrooms and “Gathering Commons.”

“In an era when construction projects typically prioritize whatever is cheap and quickly built, this building will match the quality of the Cathedral,” said Schmidt. In accord with Bishop Peter’s wishes, “it will reflect the long history of the Catholic Church and will also look to the future. The spaces will be beautiful and will intentionally draw people into community experiences.”

Cathedral parishioners are encouraged to attend a neighborhood meeting, required by the City of Boise to discuss the new building on September 5 at

6 p.m. in the Cathedral parish hall. The purpose of the meeting is for neighbors to meet the project representatives and learn about the proposed building.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.

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Diocesan Pastoral Center

FAX: (208) 342-0224

1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

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