Local News Archive
Print Issue: October 21, 1999
$5 Million Renovation Underway At CK School
BY ERIKA ANDERSON
ATLANTA--Children using white plastic shovels helped to break ground for a new addition and renovation project at Christ the King School Oct. 1, marking the beginning of the schools biggest expansion and improvement program in its 63-year history.
Msgr. Thomas Kenny, rector of the Cathedral, led students, faculty and staff of the school in prayer before the groundbreaking.
We come together today to break ground for our new school addition. As we do, we are aware that Christ the King School has been a symbol of knowledge and truth for the neighborhood and for the community of Atlanta for over 60 years, he said. May all those who see this construction realize that all learning and knowledge has as its final purpose to bring humanity to the knowledge and truth of God. Let us pray for Gods help in bringing this construction to a successful completion and may Gods protection keep those who work on the new addition safe from injury. We ask this in Jesus name.
After a Scripture reading by Peggy Warner, principal of CKS, and intercessions read by members of the student council, Msgr. Kenny blessed the ground with holy water and broke the ground, assisted by Warner, the student council and the rest of the students.
The $5 million project is the largest the school has experienced since it was opened by the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart in 1936. In 1962, the Hyland Center was added, giving the students a gymnasium.
Thanks to the Building the Church of Tomorrow Capital Campaign held in 1997, the school is receiving $2 million in space and improvements as part of the Cathedral renovation project. An additional $2.4 million has been generated through foundations, leadership gifts and pledges from parents. In addition, $1.8 million is being raised through a campaign this fall.
Mary Beth Grady, co-chair of the schools capital campaign, said that committee members are surprised and excited by the financial response. A feasibility study was done and the campaign committee was told that it was probable that many people would not give to another capital campaign so close to the one in 1997.
It is unbelievable the response that weve had, she said. I think that the school just has such a historical tug on so many people I dont have children at the school anymore, but it provided such an oasis and such a wonderful atmosphere for my boys that Im happy to still be involved in it Its really struck a chord in these parents.
Planning for the $5 million project began five years ago as a way of lowering the student-teacher ratio. The expansion program will add a third class for grades one through six, reducing class size to student numbers in the low 20s.
Im thrilled, Warner said. It means that children will be able to get more direct help right from their teacher.
Warner said the smaller class size will also help CKS compete with other private schools in the Buckhead area.
We want our academic program to be our strong selling point, she said.
The school currently has 476 students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Craig Mullins, co-chair of the capital campaign, said that when discussion began about reducing class size, the only initial suggestion was to decrease total enrollment.
Theres really no way to reduce enrollment when there is such a demand, he said. This way, we are finally able to keep the enrollment the same and still reduce teacher-student ratio. Thats been our primary goal.
The school has piggybacked its construction and renovation with that being done at the Cathedral. By consolidating the construction projects, the school will be able to save a minimum of $500,000. Architects for both projects are Surber, Barber, Choate & Hertlein. H.C. Beck is the contractor.
The project will add a net total of 12,000 square feet to the school. This includes the first floor of the new parish center, which will house three new classrooms and a media center for the school. Though the majority of this space will be for direct educational use, some areas will be provided for student activities, staff, administration and storage.
The centerpiece of the project will be the construction of a two-story classroom building along Peachtree Way. Workers returned to the original limestone quarry that produced the schools existing limestone building so that the new facade would match both the school and Cathedral buildings. This building will allow for the addition of the new classes as well as a state-of-the-art science lab.
The DYouville Building, named for the saint who founded the Grey Nuns, will also be renovated. A new larger reception area will be added. Currently, the administration is dispersed throughout the building. Renovations will allow the administrative staff to work together on one floor.
Its really awkward with us all over the building, Warner said. This is going to enable us to finally work together on the first floor.
As part of the DYouville renovations, the school clinic will be enlarged and improved and a new, larger, soundproof music room will be located on the second floor. The cafeteria will be remodeled. Many of the bathrooms in the DYouville Building have already been renovated and enlarged. A second-floor will also be added to the breezeway connector between the DYouville Building and classrooms.
A monitored main entrance will allow for enhanced security and a courtyard will be created in conjunction with the new entrance. The courtyard will also be used for small gatherings and events.
The schools chapel will be renovated as well. This includes restoration of the unique stained glass windows that depict the work of the Grey Nuns.
Its a beautiful little chapel, Warner said. The possibilities for it are endless.
The project includes the installment of a central heating and air conditioning system and renovations to the outside of the school, such as landscaping and the playground. A covered playground will be added, allowing the children to play outside even in rainy weather.
Members of the campaign committee hope to have the renovations completed by August 2000.
BLESSING -- Msgr. Thomas Kenny,
rector at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, blesses the ground at
Christ the King School, which will undergo some $5 million in new building and
renovation of existing structures. At his side are altar servers (l-r) Alan
Shiver, Rachel Halligan and Erin Kelly.
BREAKING NEW GROUND -- (L-r) Bill deGolian, chairman of the Christ the King board of education; Peggy Warner, Christ the King School principal; Lee Berg and Tee Barnes, building committee chair and co-chair; Sandra Smith, Ph.D., superintendent of Catholic schools; Mary Beth Grady and Craig Mullins, co-chairs of the campaign committee, look forward to major renovations at the 63-year-old Cathedral school.