Let the Light Shine In

April 13-19, 2006
Let the Light Shine In
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Trinity Catholic School receives Preservation Appreciation Award

OSWEGO — The students and staff at Trinity Catholic School are enjoying a brighter environment in which to work these days. In April 2004, the school’s windows were replaced with new energy efficient windows that are architecturally similar to the historic design of the old windows. “They look great,” remarked Trinity Catholic Principal David Friedlander. “They enhance the look of the building. The students love the new windows. The rooms are now brighter and quieter because the new windows block out the noise from the traffic outside.”

Third grade teacher Karen Reynolds agreed. “They are beautiful,” she said. “Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they are certainly functional. They keep the cold and wind out and now the children are not disrupted by the rattling noise of the old windows.”

Thursday, March 30, the Heritage Foundation of Oswego County presented Trinity Catholic School with a certificate of appreciation during a ceremony at the Common Council chambers in Oswego City Hall. The school was recognized for its exemplary effort in maintaining the architectural historic integrity of the structure when it replaced the windows in the school.

For more than 15 years, the Heritage Foundation has recognized worthy historic preservation, beautification and volunteer efforts in the Oswego community at an annual Preservation Appreciation Awards ceremony. Each year the foundation bestows awards on individuals, businesses and organizations that show an outstanding level of commitment to the community’s historical, architectural or environmental resources.

The R.D. McCarthy firm replaced the 75-year-old windows with new energy-efficient windows. They began working on the project in April 2004 and completed it two months later. The decision to replace the old windows was made following the consolidation of three schools into the former St. Paul’s Academy School building (now known as Trinity Catholic School) in 1999. “Part of our long range plan for the school was to make sure the building was maintained and this was one of the major plans in maintaining it,” said Friedlander. “I thought it was a terrific idea. The new windows were very much needed. The old windows were not energy efficient, they leaked water when it rained, they were noisy when the wind blew and they required constant cleaning and scraping.”

Also involved in the decision were pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Oswego, Father Eric Harer, St. Paul’s parishioners, faculty members and members of the community. “We have a strong vested interest in the school,” said Father Harer. “We wanted to do everything we could do to support the school. With the old windows, which swiveled out to open and had no screens, it was hard to get fresh air into the classrooms. Now, the new windows can be opened easily and screens can be put in place. The installation of the new windows has improved the appearance of the school. It looks like a new building.”

The cost of the project was $120,000. The majority of the cost ($100,000) was covered by Heritage Campaign funds and St. Paul’s Church contributed the remaining $20,000. Practically speaking, the project was a success. The school realized a savings of $8,000 to $10,000 in utility costs in the first year after installing the new windows. “We were surprised at the amount of money we saved,” Friedlander said. Friedlander was pleasantly surprised when he learned that Trinity Catholic School was included with 12 other recipients in line to receive the certificate of appreciation award. “This demonstrates that the people in our community appreciate and support the preservation of original historic architecture,” said Friedlander.

Friedlander felt honored when he accepted the award at the ceremony, which close to 40 people attended. “It was a humbling experience to receive it,” he said. Friedlander plans to frame the certificate of appreciation and then mount it on a wall in the main lobby of the school.

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