By BENN HODAPP / Valley Community Newspapers writer
A new schoolyear can be both a mental and emotional transition for children. A new curriculum, new teacher and new classroom can take some getting used to. But an entirely new school? Now that is a real transition. Such is the case for the Sacred Heart Parish School at 856 39th Street in East Sacramento. But it’s not just the students that will be dazzled with the new surroundings.
“It’s very exciting,” said Sacred Heart Principal Theresa Sparks. “The new school is absolutely beautiful.”
Some of the upgraded amenities include a high school sized gym (complete with a Vermont Maple floor), surround sound in every classroom and a computer lab with 36 computers. The school is made of brick to tie in with the Sacred Heart Parish Church. Construction was done in just over a year. Seventeen homes were moved from the new school lot and building began in July 2009.
The old school site was 75 years old and was falling behind the times, according to Sparks. It was just time for a change. The demolition of the old building began on Monday, Aug. 16 and will take two months to complete, according to Sparks. The lot will be converted into a parking lot for a new wing at Mercy General Hospital.
“The old school had a lot of charm,” Sparks said. “It’s sad to see it go, but the new school is very exciting. I’ve had people tell me that it’s as nice as some colleges they have seen.”
In order to allow the children to get more acquainted with the new surroundings, Sacred Heart held an open house on June 5. Not everything was finished, so there were some things that the kids didn’t get to see. A second open house is set for Aug. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., when a truer experience can be had.
School starts Aug. 23 at Sacred Heart. The new $16 million facility will house some 310 students in grades K-8. Although the new school may be a transition for some of the children who grew up attending the old one, at least the school should not be difficult to find; it lies just across the street from the old one.