Contractor's father built first Eldridge monastery for Carmelite Sisters
By Steve Stewart
Construction of the new 4,000 square-foot residential wing of the Carmelite monastery in Eldridge is the first big job that Brian Speer's construction company, Dial Quad Cities, Inc., has undertaken. But, this project is not his first connection with construction at the monastery.
In 1975, Brian's father, Ed Speer, built the monastery in Eldridge when the Carmelite Sisters moved from their home in Bettendorf.
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, OCD, building committee coordinator, said it was really nice to see Brian's young sons, Brian, 4, and Conner, 3, playing at the construction site. She said she wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the future they might be involved in a construction project for the community.
As a boy, Brian remembers coming out to the work site with his father. But, he said, he never imagined that one day he might be building something for the sisters.
The new wing scheduled for completion by Christmas will include eight new bedrooms, a prayer room and a laundry room. It will be heated with a geothermal heating system. The completed project will cost roughly $250,000.
So far the sisters have raised $212 000 of their $300,000 goal through their "Furthering the Dream" capital campaign. The project was initiated to make space for the order's new members. Since 1993, the Carmelites have tripled their membership from five sisters to 15.
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