For 60 years, there has been one constant at Our Lady of Peace School in Clarks Green.
Whether it be during a math, English or history class, inevitably a student’s attention would wane and his or her gaze would drift from the textbook straight out the window. Now, the windows, along with the rest of the school, are about to undergo a major facelift.
OLP’s renovations are set to begin on Monday, June 16 and, school officials say, the project will be conducted in phases, starting with the school’s windows, which are the original windows from 1954, the year it was built.
“We’d like to get air conditioning for the school, eventually, but you can’t have air conditioning unless you have a decent window,” said art teacher Peggy Yanul. “Looking at everything, we do have a lot of things that need to be done but the windows will help us get better air flow in the classrooms for the kids and a better environment for them to study.”
School officials have been working with Scranton-based Hemmler and Camayd Architects, who have created renderings of what the school will look like upon completion of the renovations, which will also include a new front canopy and other internal cosmetic changes, including renovations to the adjacent fine arts building. The total cost for phase one of the project, which comprises just the new windows, is $370,281. To date, OLP has received $105,000 in donations from alumni and other community members.
“A project this huge and so long overdue requires a wide base of support,” said Dr. Marla Crea Farrell, who graduated from OLP in 1978. “We hope to encourage alumni support and are excited about bringing together the large OLP family, past and present.”
Yanul said that while the school has made significant advancements in education, including up-to-date technology in all classrooms, the building itself also needs improvements, something that cannot be done without community assistance.
“We’ve done some painting and some touch-ups, the floors were fixed but this is our biggest renovation,” she said. “We’ve been trying to launch it for a few years and now we’ve finally gotten it off the ground.”
“A lot of people are waiting to see when we start and what we will do, but we can’t go any further than where the funding will take us,” she added. “What we get will take us as far as we can go. If people keep sending in money, we can keep proceeding with the project.”
The school will continue to accept donations throughout the duration of the project. Donors will be recognized with their names on a commemorative tree in the school’s front lobby with various colored leaves depending on the amount given. Donations are also being accepted for full classroom renovations.
“It all depends on how fast we get money and how far we can go with the window project,” Yanul said. “We’re trying to think along the lines of trying to help the kids and the teachers in the classrooms.”
Donations may be sent to Our Lady of Peace School, 401 N. Abington Rd., Clarks Green, PA 18411. Call 570-587-4152 for more information.