Air Conditioning Project

Air Conditioning Project
  • Completion: 2012
  • Architect: Uihlein/Wilson Architects
  • Engineer: Ring & DuChateau
  • Construction Manager: Hunzinger Construction Company
  • Major Funding Provided By: Fotsch Family
Lower level transformation during construction
A view from underneath the basilica.

2012 was a monumental year as a result of the largest single gift in our history from the Fotsch Family Foundation. The addition of air conditioning to the Basilica transformed the Undercroft and Lower Church by adding new walls for a sacristy, mechanical room, and the lower church.

A chiller was installed between the Basilica and the west parking lot. An air displacement strategy is employed to cool the main seating area in the Basilica, utilizing a cloud of slow moving, dehumidified cool air delivered from below the floor through vents.

The warm air is “displaced” into the upper volume of the church and returned to the system through strategically placed return grills. On the floor of the Basilica’s main level, circles were cut to allow for air diffusers that will drift cool air up into the main space in the Basilica.

The Fotsch Family Foundation gift provided air conditioning to the main church and sanctuary. With this in mind, the Fotsch Family Foundation challenged our Board of Directors to raise the additional funds required to complete the air conditioning the choir loft, necessary electrical upgrades, and painting of the lower level. The Foundation successfully met that challenge, and the remainder of the project was financed by the Foundation.

Construction working drilling through floor of the basilica
Grid circles being cut into the floor of the Basilica on September 27, 2012.


As with all projects at the Basilica, this project was completed with strict adherence to the Basilica’s historical and architectural integrity yet includes the latest in sustainable, energy efficient technology.

To Restore and Preserve Our Heritage