At almost every Sunday during the 9:15 AM, 11:00 AM, and the 6:00 PM masses the Narthex had anywhere from 10 to 40 chairs being used by our parishioners due to limited seating in the old church. If you attended mass at other times perhaps you did not see this situation but that does not mean it was not a problem for the parish as a whole. Not having adequate seating and forcing people to sit outside of the worship area is not very welcoming and creates an unnatural division.
There definitely was a need to have a more expansive sanctuary space. A Master Plan was commissioned which looked at the cost / benefits of enlarging the old space versus building a new church. There were many considerations to take into account not the least of which is to make sure that we had a viable solution for the future as well as the present. The Diocese had commissioned a population growth study a few years earlier and it was determined that Clay County will be the fastest growing area in the entire metropolitan vicinity for many years to come. While adding onto the old church would have fixed the current problem it would have only been a temporary fix. It made more economic sense to build a much larger new church now rather than adding onto the old church and then wait a few years and need to build a bigger church later.