Brand new classrooms greet Sacred Heart students at lower and middle school campus

by Millie Lee on August 27, 2012

Students and teachers at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton are beginning the school year  in brand new classrooms and learning spaces. The new campus, housing students from grades one through eight, is 89,000-square feet, nearly double the size of the former campus. The new site includes five individual buildings surrounding a large green inner courtyard. Athletic fields, which will be completed in the spring of 2013, will surround the perimeter of the campus.

Built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards of the U.S. Green Building Council, the new campus provides a healthier, safer and environment-friendly place for the students, faculty and staff.

students check out new Sacred Heart Schools middle and lower school campusHighlights of the new campus include the following:

  • More than 25, 900-square foot state-of-the-art classrooms with rooms dedicated for science and fine arts;
  • Spacious library, 3 times the size of the current library.  It is built to net zero for electricity and water, which means it will reduce the energy it uses and use renewable-energy, cutting utility costs to zero;
  • Fine Arts Center with seating for 650 and sound proof band, music, chorus, drama rooms and a dance studio with spring floors and mirror;
  • Overall improved natural lighting, indoor air quality through natural ventilation and enhanced ergonomic designs in classrooms and other learning areas;
  • Multi indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, creating a sense of community and collaboration;
  • Responsible use of energy, water, and materials throughout entire design and construction, substantially lower operating costs by at least 25 percent.

SHP Lower_Middle school opening_girl drawing“It is truly amazing to see this new campus finally come to fruition for our Lower and Middle school students and faculty,” said director of schools Richard A. Dioli.  “It all began more than seven years ago when the idea of a new campus was just merely a dream. It’s through the dedication of our community whose commitment to educational excellence has made this a reality for our students of today and for many generations to come.”

The new campus, built on the grounds that housed what was known as St. Joseph’s School until renaming two years ago, is the result of the Schools’ capital campaign fundraising efforts which began five years ago and was recently completed in 2012. The Living our Mission, Building our Future capital campaign was initiated to increase the Schools’ endowment and to build, refurbish and modernize academic facilities across the campus. It was the largest fundraising effort the Sacred Heart has embarked on in its 114-year history.

In addition to the new campus, the campaign has helped fund the building of the LEED-Platinum Science and Student Life Center at the high school (opened August 2010), renovations to the Aquatic Center, remodel of the Preschool and Kindergarten building, and creation of a dedicated robotics lab and photography studio.  The campaign also supports faculty professional growth, and the Schools’ endowment.

 Photos by Linda Hubbard Gulker

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