Catholic Charities begins overhaul of Shikles building

This story originally appeared in the Jefferson City News Tribune. Read the full story online: Jefferson City News Tribune Website.

The transformation of the former Shikles Auditorium in Jefferson City to become the new home of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri is underway.

Crews have been on the site since November, said Cristal Backer, director of development and outreach for Catholic Charities.

Curtis-Manes-Schulte Inc., of Eldon, is the contractor on the $4.2 million project.

The site will allow Catholic Charities to provide a number of resources and programs to the community, Backer said.

“The building requires major renovation and remodeling,” she said.

Crews are creating a new road to the building on Linden Drive, which will have a new address when complete.

The work will involve building demolition, earth removal, paving, landscaping, construction of retaining walls and an addition to be used as a warehouse.

Inside, the former auditorium will be converted, in part, to a client-choice food pantry, where recipients will be allowed to select their own food items.

The elevator is to be replaced.

The former chapel will be renovated. It will still include a chapel, but smaller. Other areas will become community spaces, classroom spaces, offices and areas where universal health exam rooms will be available.

“Community partners who wish to hold meetings will be welcome to come in,” Backer said.

Organizers hope to complete the project by late summer 2021.

St. Mary’s Hospital officials have said Catholic Charities’ vision for the site, including bringing some health services to the community, align with the hospital’s mission.

The hospital’s foundation announced last February it had awarded Catholic Charities a $200,000 grant to assist with the purchase of the building. In October, the foundation awarded Catholic Charities another $120,000 to assist with development of the exam rooms and health and nutrition programs.

Two generous donors have offered to match donations, so for every dollar donated to the project, $2 will be added.

The J.E. and LE. Mabee Foundation will match up to $750,000.

An anonymous donor also will match up to $1.5 million.

“If a person donates, that’s a triple impact for our community,” Backer said.

The Mabee Foundation has helped fund new construction, renovations and purchases of major medical equipment for nonprofit organizations since 1948, according to its website. It has issued grants totaling more than $1.2 billion.

To donate to the Open Hearts, Open Doors Renovation 2021 campaign, visit the website for the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City,, and click on the corresponding charitable opportunity, or mail a check payable to Catholic Charities to P.O. Box 104626, Jefferson City, MO, 65110.