Construction on a 27,500-square-foot addition to St. John's Academy is expected to be completed on time by the beginning of the school year in August 2020.

The $5.9 million project will add nine classrooms, a music room, a new chapel, a kitchen and a cafeteria while also relocating the administration offices in the building closer to the main entrance.

"We started a capital campaign to raise money for the project, and we've raised about $5.3 million so far," Trumbauer said. "The community support is tremendous."

St. John's Academy serves about 250 students from pre-kindergarten to the sixth grade. Jeff Trumbauer, principal at the academy, said the school is also "a week or two out" from opening up a new child care center.

The construction project took a step back on Labor Day, when wind gusts of 85 mph were reported at Jamestown Regional Airport. The thunderstorm led to numerous downed trees and accidents in the Jamestown area. One of the walls for the construction project was partially destroyed during that storm.

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"It's hard to put an estimate on the time setback that caused, but I think it was minimized to a very brief amount of time," Trumbauer said. "The contractors and subcontractors did a great job of getting it cleaned up, minimizing the amount of delay on the project.

"I mean minimizing to just a couple of days instead of setting us back several weeks," Trumbauer said.

Another storm hit Jamestown last weekend, when the city saw more snowfall in a two-day period in the month of October than ever before. According to the National Weather Service in Bismarck, Jamestown saw approximately 17 inches of snow from Friday, Oct. 11, to Saturday, Oct. 12.

"There wasn't any major setbacks for us during the snowstorm," Trumbauer said. "Our team did a good job getting snow removed from the area so we could continue to move forward with the project."

Trumbauer said a challenge the snowstorm did present was travel for guests for the St. John's Academy 28th annual HOPE Dinner and Auction. But poor road conditions, both downtown and in rural areas in Stutsman County, didn't stop community members from showing their support on Saturday, Oct. 12.

"It was just impressive and heartwarming to see all the attendees," Trumbauer said. "Our attendance was probably the same as it would have been if it was 70 (degrees) and sunny. Despite the poor road conditions, we had people that braved the elements just to celebrate with us."

Trumbauer said the HOPE Dinner and Auction is a yearly reminder of why he does what he does.

"Saying thank you doesn't even begin to explain how we feel (about community support)," Trumbauer said. "It's just one more example of why it's such a great thing to be associated with St. John's."

Monsignor Jeff Wald, pastor of St. James Basilica, said the turnout at the event was "shocking" and "powerful" at the same time.

"There was a lot of debate on if we should have it or reschedule it or cancel it completely because of the storm, people were passionate on both sides of it," Wald said. "It was incredible seeing the turnout.

"People must have been tired of being cooped up for two days, it was just very powerful seeing all the people there," Wald said. "Through thick and thin, rain or shine, people in this community found a way to support the academy's mission."