Bishop Robert Deeley and Joe Valliere. Contributed photo

RICHMOND — Joe Valliere knew immediately which organization he wanted to help when it came time to decide on an Eagle Scout Service Project.

“The basis for every Eagle Scout project is it has to benefit your community. Giving back to the church seemed like a great idea because they have sponsored my troop and hosted our meetings on their property,” said the 16 year old from Brunswick, a member of Troop 648 who has participated in the Scouts since the first grade, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. “The St. Ambrose project was a project that I thought I could successfully accomplish.”

Valliere’s project will be to replace the flooring of the narthex, chapel, and altar at St. Ambrose Church, located on Kimball Street.

“The existing flooring has served its useful life,” said Valliere.

The project began in earnest last fall as he planned, organized, and gained approval for the project.

“He presented his Eagle Scout project to the parish finance council in March and with a unanimous vote, the project was approved,” said Fr. Thomas Murphy, pastor of All Saints Parish, of which St. Ambrose is a part.

“Planning it takes far more time than the actual replacement,” said Valliere, who consulted with Mike’s Flooring of Lisbon in assembling his proposal. “The new flooring will be carpet tiles as they are highly functional and can be replaced easily if damaged or worn.”

The pews will be measured in their original positions then removed, as will the existing carpet. The floor will be thoroughly cleaned, then professionals will prepare the floor for the installation of the new carpet tiles. Upon installation, the pews will be put back into their places.

“The replacement will take place in August and is estimated to take 10 days,” said Valliere. “I am required to track all related hours in order to provide a report at the end of the project.”

In recent weeks, he has visited parish churches on the weekend to explain his plan as well as ask for financial support for the project, which will take around $10,000 to complete. He will continue his visits during the month of June.

“All fundraising proceeds cover materials and professional labor,” he said. “I’m grateful for any donations to cover the cost of the effort. Any funds left over will be designated for use towards updating the sound system at St. Ambrose.”

Thanks to his passionate and spirited presentation of his plan, he has already raised $4,726 to date.

“It is inspirational to see parishioners support Joe’s effort,” said Murphy. “It reveals how much we love one another.”

“Being able to complete my project will feel great,” said Valliere. “Obtaining the Eagle Rank is the pinnacle achievement of Boy Scouts.”

Those able to donate can do so online in the St. Ambrose Carpet Replacement section of Donations also can be mailed to All Saints Parish, 144 Lincoln St., Bath, ME 04530.