SALEM — Before the baptismal font was installed at St. Vincent de Paul Church here, parishioners learned that the Willamette River used to run through the parish property, according to parish priest Father Joseph Heuberger.

The bank of the Willamette River was Portland Road (Oregon 99 E) and the Kroc Center.
Over spring break, the parish had two sump pumps installed on the outside corners of the school, and found river rock 8 to 10 feet below.  

The parish had for years been getting water leaking in the school basement, Father Heuberger said. In just hours the new cisterns nearly filled.

It was a good test as the water was pumped out into the city drain system, the pastor said.

This summer St. Vincent School will receive a new roof and some new blacktop in the play area. Cost is $100,000, funded by a donation from an alumni family donor.

The church parking lot will also receive a new coat of blacktop and additional lighting, pedestrian walkways, islands and new striping.   This will happen in July.