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Catholic schools excited about new building, new classes

For students in Ironton Catholic Schools, the start of the school year will be new territory in more ways than one.

St. Joseph High School students will find new course options awaiting them next week; St. Lawrence Elementary students will find a whole new building when they return to class.

The new school year for students begins Aug. 19. There will be an open house for elementary students 1-3 p.m. Aug. 23.

A new building

St. Lawrence students may feel a bit lost when they return to class. Not only will they find a new building, but much larger digs than they had last year.

When Ironton City Schools completed new elementary school facilities this year, the old buildings became vacant and thus were up for grabs. A long-term agreement between public and parochial school allowed the Catholic System to lease to old Kingsbury building. The new facility is larger as well as newer.

“We probably have twice as many classrooms,” Catholic Schools Vice-Principal Chris Monte said. “In the old building we had room for K through 6.

“Now we have enough room for an art room, a music room. Before we had to have art and music in individual classes.”

The additional space will also allow for a preschool — something the Catholic system had wanted but could not accommodate in the confined space at the old building.

High school Changes

St. Joseph High School may not be new but it may look a lot different this year. Monte said classrooms have been painted, the girl’s restroom refurbished and landscaping improved. But the biggest changes will be academic.

“We’ve added some classes so the kids could have more options. Personal finance, geography, communications, performing arts, we haven’t always had those,” Monte said.

Help

One thing that didn’t change with the new and improved facilities was the volunteerism that keeps the school system on track.

Development Director Sissy Clyse said over the last few weeks volunteers have been busy moving everything from the old St. Lawrence to the new one and making sure all of the equipment, books and furniture is ready for use Aug 19.

The volunteers have included community service workers, parents, the high school soccer team and even young children who will occupy the building once the new school year begins.

“I really want to thank all of the volunteers who have helped pull this together,” Clyse said. “The cooperation has been wonderful.”