By Liz Sullivan
Although the students and staff might have been off enjoying summer break, it didn’t mean things were quiet at three schools in the Drexel School System of the Diocese of San Jose.
Those three schools – Most Holy Trinity (MHT), Saint Patrick and Catholic Academy of Sunnyvale (CAS) saw significant renovations take place. All three benefitted from a significant donation in the form of a retrofit from the Shea Homes Foundation.
At MHT, the donation resulted in new tiles, paint, cabinets, shades, screens and whiteboards in every classroom. In addition, an anonymous person donated $60,000 and the school community matched it by raising an additional $10,000. On August 30, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath toured the renovated classrooms and met with the students after celebrating Mass.
“You have an amazing new school building,” the Bishop told students during his homily. “I encourage you to go out and help people.”
Said Principal Jamie McIntyre, “It’s great. Everyone is very excited.”
Meanwhile at Saint Patrick on September 9, the Bishop was on hand to bless the renovated facilities. The main school building was renovated at the generosity of parishioners from the school’s church – Our Lady of La Vang Church as part of the church’s renovation project. The Shea Homes Foundation retrofitted the building across the playground which houses the kindergarten, T-K, daycare and offices among other things.
“Everyone is really excited about this,” said Saint Patrick Principal Olga Islas. “They did some really great work and did it so fast.”
For CAS, the Shea Homes Foundation contribution meant: new gates for safety – enclosed campus; new bell and PA system; WiFi refresh; air conditioner in the server room; built bathroom for preschool; repaired electricity in the Science Room; new eye-wash station and new dishwasher. In the classrooms, the retrofit meant: new carpets;
fresh paint; all new cabinets; new ceiling fans; new lighting; windows in the classroom doors and new whiteboards.
“This really has been a great gift we have been given,” said CAS Principal Susan Morrissey.
And this isn’t the end for Shea’s involvement with Drexel Schools. The foundation has pledged a $3-million grant for capital and facility improvements for new schools hoping to enter the Drexel School System for the 2017-2018 school year. The Shea Homes Foundation has agreed to invest up to $1 million per parish school looking to convert to a Drexel School, with a limit of three possible schools and only for those entering in the fall of 2017.
“The Shea Homes Foundation is very impressed with the academic results of the Drexel School System and supports the shift in governance and accountability to ensure the sustainability of Catholic schools,” said Tara Rolle, EdD, Assistant Superintendent for the Drexel School System.
Currently, there are seven schools in the Drexel School System, which guided by the gifts of the Holy Spirit is a network of schools which form the whole person through faith, knowledge, community and by leveraging the resources and knowledge of a network of Catholic schools.
For more information regarding Drexel Schools please visit drexel.dsj.org.