GLASGOW — The steady hum of heavy equipment and construction workers is nearly a memory at St. Margaret of Scotland Church and Christ the Teacher School. For the past year, crews have been building a parish hall next to the church and a gymnasium connected to the school, but that work is closing in on the finish line.
By mid-May, the parish center was just about done. Msgr. John Hopkins, the longtime pastor at St. Margaret, said work began last August and was helped along by a mild winter with little snow. The kitchen equipment was mostly installed, and some flooring needed to be put down.
“They really have moved along,” Msgr. Hopkins said of the work crews.
He said the Knights of Columbus were going to purchase an ice machine, and a fundraiser would cover the cost of tables and chairs. A Celtic cross will hang on one of the walls.
There is also plenty of room for storage, he added.
“The one thing we’ve all learned: you can never have enough storage,” Msgr. Hopkins said.
The hall will seat approximately 175 people when it is done, the pastor said. The parish has more than 1,400 families, and there are times when the school kitchen is not available for parish activities.
The goal is to have the hall ready for use by the time school begins later this summer. Msgr. Hopkins said he wants to have an open house in August, and Bishop Malooly is scheduled to bless the facility on Sept. 8. The parish center has been a long time coming, he said.
“Since day one, this has been part of the master plan,” Msgr. Hopkins said. “It was a question of when we could afford it.”
Across the 40-acre campus, next to the playground, the gymnasium and classroom addition was taking shape. Baskets hung with white nets wrapped in plastic, waiting for bleachers, a floor and a few other necessities. But the gym is only a part of the project.
The first thing visible after leaving the hallway connecting the school to the addition is not the gymnasium, but additional educational space. Mercy Sister LaVerne King, the principal, and assistant principal Stephen Adams said there will be rooms for preschool, storage, and piano lessons or office space. The pre-kindergarten for 3-year-olds will accommodate 18 youngsters, while that for the 4-year-olds will hold 24. They will be full-day programs.
The gym will have bleachers along one wall. There is room for a concession stand or ticket sales, storage of athletic equipment, a small loading dock and large bathrooms.
“It’s going to be the nicest gymnasium in the area,” Sister LaVerne predicted.
It is scheduled for the same dedication date as the parish center, she said. School families will have the opportunity to see the new digs before that, she added. Everything will be done on time.
“We’re going to make it with time to spare. More time than we had with the original building,” Sister LaVerne said. When Christ the Teacher opened in the fall of 2002, some of the final work was not quite done.
The addition will provide a regulation-size gymnasium for the school, which was not the case until now. The current gym did not have enough space behind the end lines for basketball players to drive the lane safely, or for volleyball players to serve.
At least part of that space, which is separated from the cafeteria by a movable divider, will become classrooms, according to Sister LaVerne and Adams.
Msgr. Hopkins made certain to reiterate something he said at the groundbreaking last May. This is the last major construction project on the property.