Properties and Building Services | Diocese of Lansing

Properties and Building Services

Director of Property Management: Alan Olsen

The first recorded property transaction of the early Christian church was the purchase of land outside of Rome to be used as a cemetery. Ever since that day, the Church has used material (temporal) goods as an aid in promoting its earthly mission – the salvation of souls. Today, as then, the Church’s use of temporal goods revolves around:

  1. Divine worship
  2. Works of the apostolate
  3. Works of charity

In today’s modern world, the relationship between the diocese, its parishes and institutions is both complex and mutually supportive. In the world of civil law, the diocese is single corporation, similar to a sole corporation. All real and personal property is titles in the name of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lansing. This obligates the bishop is required to maintain a level of oversight over the temporal goods of the diocese. The Property Management Office is one component assisting the bishop in this task. The Property Management Office assists pastors, pastoral administrators, parishioners, architects and contractors in several areas:

  1. Development of major building and renovation projects
  2. Hazardous materials
  3. Safety codes and practices
  4. Maintenance programs
  5. Compliance with AHERA regulations for asbestos
  6. Purchasing and sales of property

The most visible function of the Property Management Office involves the construction of new non-liturgical facilities and the renovation of existing facilities in the diocese. This process is often complex due to many legal and contractual considerations and the potential high financial risk and liability for both the parish and the diocese. 

It is in this context the Diocesan Building Commission assists the bishop and the parishes by providing the experience of the diocese to the numerous individuals, committees and various professionals, such as architects and contractors, involved in the planning process, assuring its value, necessity and feasibility of the proposed project. It is not the function of the Diocesan Building Commission to design, build or maintain property, but to direct, advise and provide resource in order for the project to be successful. 

The Property Management Office also is responsible for:

  1. The building services in the central service offices in downtown Lansing and to the residence of the bishop. These services provide for the upkeep and maintenance of these diocesan properties; and
  2. The annual training sessions for school and other parish or institutional personnel in asbestos awareness, hazard communication and general safety practices.

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