Ground broken for new facilities

Ground broken for new facilities

HILTON HEAD ISLAND A groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the educational facilities at St. Francis by the Sea School took place Oct. 25.

Bishop David B. Thompson was joined by Father Michael McCafferty and Father Donald Grady of St. Francis, Father Edmund McCaffrey of Holy Family, and Father Gregory West of St. Andrew in prayer and then in song with all of the families in attendance.

Each took a turn at turning some dirt with the “golden shovel” and a reception breakfast followed.

The educational facilities expansion will provide classroom space to accommodate the growing religious education program, which this year has 325 children enrolled. Additionally, the new building will have a media center, a computer lab, an art room, a music room, a science lab, a cafeteria, and administrative offices. The new facility will allow space for the various parish groups to meet and activities to take place, as well as provide for programs that will work as an outreach to the community.

Construction has already begun on the 22,000 square foot building, which should be finished in time for the 1998-99 school year. A fund-raising campaign is underway, with a target of $1.6 million. As part of those efforts the first annual “School Days by the Sea” gala fund-raiser to benefit enrichment programs at the school was held last August. Over 400 families from the three area parishes attended, raising $40,000.

St. Francis School is in its second year of existence and has an enrollment of 95 students in four grades; K4, K5, first and second. The school has a staff of five state certified teachers, three teacher’s aides and three special area teachers for art, music, and physical education. Dr. Kay Sutcliffe is the principal.

The educational facilities expansion will provide space for the school to continue Catholic education for children up through grade eight.