Oct. 7-13, 2004
Structures and Face-Lifts
By Sister Harriet Hamilton, OSF/ SUN contributing writer
St. Mary’s School Improves Buildings and Grounds this Year
Editor’s note: This story is the first in a year-long series that will highlight the Catholic schools of the Syracuse Diocese. Each school will have a chance to report on events and stories that originate at their school. The school staff is responsible for the content of the new “schools” page and will work with the staff at The Catholic SUN in order to provide accurate and interesting information for readers. The collaboration between the schools and the newspaper is one we hope benefits readers, families, Catholic school staff, and most of all lifts up the students in these fine schools. The following story comes from Sister Harriet Hamilton, OSF, principal of St. Mary’s School in Cortland.
CORTLAND — At the beginning of the 2004-05 school year, we welcomed Mrs. Lisa Egan (pre-K) from Liverpool and Mrs. Teresa Garcia (second grade) to St. Mary’s teaching staff and Mrs. Karen Stone to our custodial staff. Mrs. Christine Coolidge (pre-K) moved to fifth grade to replace Mr. Wright, and Mrs. Luchansky moved to the teacher aide position with Mrs. Stoll to replace Mrs. MacDonnell.
In keeping with the goals of the long range plan for care of the buildings and grounds, some major improvements were made to the building this summer. Cortland Glass Company replaced the windows in the two pre-K classrooms at the Charles Street entrance. The original windows were installed in 1958 and there was no fire escape window. With the new windows which slide open and have screens, we now have a fire escape window in each of the pre-K classrooms. With the replacement of these windows, all of the windows in the building have been replaced with the exception of the very small basement windows. The completion of this project should see a continued reduction in the gas usage for heating the building.
Two rooms in the basement of the building were painted and/or remodeled. The art room was painted this summer by art teacher volunteer Linda Kline in keeping with the garden theme of the art program this year. The faculty room was also remodeled, removing paneling and a partial wall as well as installing a dropped ceiling, new lights and cupboards. The room provides a quieter, brighter space for the teachers, especially for their lunch time, and definitely improves morale. One of the most important improvements to the building was made possible by a project initiated by Daniel McNeil of Cortland. Through his efforts, the McNeil family and the Suits family from Homer funded the purchase of 170 unassembled steel lockers for the third floor of the school. There was no place for students to hang jackets and backpacks, so they were put on hooks above the radiators. During the summer, volunteers and summer custodial staff carried the cartons of lockers to the third floor and assembled them. It was a very lengthy process, with volunteers giving many hours to the school, but the lockers were completely installed in the hallways by the time school opened. Now the third, fifth and sixth grades, all six classrooms of students, have a place for their items.
The purchasing of locks for the sixth grade lockers will give students the experience of opening locks before they go on to the seventh grade. The upgrading of the kitchen equipment continuted with the replacement of the large stainless steel refrigerator. All of these efforts were made possible by the involvement and support of many parents and friends of the school.