Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we conducting this fundraising effort now? Isn’t it a bad time to ask people for financial support?
When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, Diocesan and school leaders decided to postpone plans for this special appeal in order to focus on the immediate needs of our parishes, students, families and staff. It was the right decision, but the long-term needs of our school have not changed since then. Now is the time for us to take steps to retire our debt and provide for current and future BCCHS students.
Despite recent challenges, the majority of our friends and benefactors are ready, willing and able to support this fundraising effort for our school. Everyone in our community will be asked to do what they can to help, and every gift, no matter the amount, will make a positive difference in helping us reach our goal and pay off our debt.
Why do we need a special appeal? Why can’t we use reserve funds to pay for this project?
The HVAC system dated to 1964 and had never been replaced or upgraded. Bishop Carroll leadership recognized that the system was aging and had requested bids to determine the cost of replacing it five years ago. Due to ongoing budget constraints, however, we were unable to save for the full cost of replacing the system.
When the decision was made to replace the system, we were able to cover nearly 20% of the total project cost with reserve funds, increased student fees and support from a select group of donors. To cover the remaining 80%, we elected to borrow funds from the Diocese of Wichita so construction could begin as soon as possible. This appeal will allow us to retire that debt as quickly as possible, saving money in interest on the loan and allowing us to move forward more quickly with our other strategic priorities.
Were any other improvements made while the HVAC was replaced?
Our top priority is to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for our students. While the focus of this project was the installation of the new HVAC system, we also replaced approximately 35% of the roof and installed new LED lighting in the student hallways in the original building.
The new HVAC system also includes new building controls, which increase efficiency and help maintain a more consistent temperature throughout the building. These improvements will help lower the school’s utility costs now and for years to come. The project was completed ahead of schedule and on budget in the summer of 2020, and students are now enjoying the benefits of the new, more advanced HVAC system throughout our facilities.
Why hasn’t the renovation of the Fine Arts Area been completed?
The Building the Tradition campaign, which began in 2006, had two phases: construction of the Activities Complex and renovation of the Fine Arts Area and cafeteria. The combined fundraising goal was $17.5 million. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the campaign raised $10.5 million and were able to complete Phase I.
Other building campaigns for the Diocese of Wichita and several of our feeder parishes over the past few years have been a priority for many of our families. Unfortunately, we were not able to complete the fundraising for Phase II at the time and have not yet had the opportunity to raise funds for that important campus improvement.
Donations totaling $451,287 from the Building the Tradition campaign were restricted for Phase II of the project and are being held in reserve. Those funds will only be used as designated – for the renovation of the Fine Arts Area and cafeteria when we are able to adequately address those needs. We cannot move forward with this plan until we retire our current debt.
How is the Diocese of Wichita helping BCCHS with this project?
BCCHS is blessed to have the Diocese collaborate on the funding for this project. Being able to secure a loan for a project of this magnitude in such a short time frame has been extremely beneficial in allowing the school to remain open. In addition, this appeal is not subject to a 10% tithe to the Diocese of Wichita. All appeal donations – 100% of funds – will go directly toward our goal of retiring the loan.
Why is the Diocese of Wichita charging interest on the loan to BCCHS?
The money loaned to BCCHS for this project comes from a Deposit/Loan Program. Parishes throughout Wichita hold their savings on deposit at the Diocese and just like at a bank, receive interest. When loans are taken by a parish or school, interest is charged on those loans to pay interest to those who have their savings on deposit. Many parish projects, new churches, parish halls and even parish schools throughout the Diocese have been completed with funds borrowed from the Deposit/Loan Program, repaying based on an established schedule.
What happens if BCCHS is unable to raise enough money to retire the loan?
BCCHS took out a ten-year loan from the Diocese of Wichita for $4.7 million. Our intention is to fully retire the loan through a three-year pledge period for the special appeal. However, if we fall short of our fundraising goal, the remainder of the loan will be paid back through the 10-year term, ending in 2029.
How does this effort differ from the Bishop Carroll Annual Fund?
The Bishop Carroll Annual Fund is a vital part of the annual budget at BCCHS. The fund supplements the parish support we receive for daily operations. The Bishop Carroll Annual Fund covers regular, operational expenses including paying faculty and staff, maintaining our facilities and providing support for the Drexel Fund.
The This is Our Home… Keeping It Cool appeal focuses specifically on raising funds to reduce or eliminate our debt for the new HVAC system. Gifts or pledges to the special appeal are considered an extraordinary commitment to Bishop Carroll and those we serve, above and beyond regular support of the annual fund.
How can I participate? Can I pledge over time?
Our special appeal offers a wide range of gift opportunities to fit every family’s budget. You may choose a gift plan that provides you with flexibility and time to complete the payment of your pledge over the three-year pledge period. More information on gift options and payment plans will be provided in future appeal communications. Because our needs are urgent, however, we encourage everyone to complete their pledges within three years.
How was a requested pledge amount determined?
We used several factors to set pledge request amounts, including a donor’s prior giving history to the school, past campaign support and the amount shared in the planning study, if available. The gift request amount included in your appeal letter is an invitation, not an expectation. We did our best to set requests that will help us meet our needs and encourage sacrificial gifts at every level. We ask that you prayerfully consider your pledge and make a gift that is sacrificial and meaningful to you. We are grateful for every gift, no matter the amount.
I am currently giving to another campaign. Can I wait to start my pledge?
We are aware that many families are supporting other efforts in the Diocese of Wichita. Families who wish to make a gift to Bishop Carroll’s special appeal but are currently fulfilling other campaign commitments can delay their appeal pledge payments or spread their gift over five years.
Is my pledge legally binding? Will it be confidential?
A pledge is a gift, one you consider meaningful. All we ask is that you do your best to keep your commitment and advise us of any financial changes that will impact your pledge payments. We will keep pledges as confidential as possible. Only the people responsible for maintaining the records will have access to your pledge information.
To what extent are appeal commitments tax deductible?
Gifts to the special appeal are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The application of such laws varies with individual circumstances. Donors with specific questions regarding tax deductibility should contact their attorney or tax advisor.