December 18, 2014

Dear Sacred Heart Parish and School Community,

As you know we have been spending a great amount of time planning for the future facility needs of our parish and school since we first formed our Master Planning Committee in January of 2013.  I am very excited to share with you some of the upcoming projects which we will begin in 2015 and how it will affect our campus and calendar during that time.

In March, we will start by constructing a new three lane north bridge (closest to the Fillauer Building) that will serve as our main entry to the campus.  At that time, we will also install a new main electrical line to serve the school and future cathedral.  The current south bridge (closest to the Chancery) will continue to be in use throughout construction.

Upon dismissal of classes for the summer, we’ll roll up our sleeves and begin the heavy lifting. We’ll start with demolition of the existing rectory, garages and flower room wing and demolition of the existing front drop-off canopy.  All of the memorial benches and bricks will be preserved and used in the new school entrance as well as the future courtyard that will be created by the back of the new Cathedral. The hillside next to the rectory will be graded and opened up to provide new access to our campus from Erin Drive as well as increased parking and traffic flow.  The fill from this hillside will be used in front of the old school entrance to prepare for the construction of our new Cathedral.

We will build a new covered drop-off entry area on the north side of the 100 wing that will serve throughout the time of construction and re-configure the site to allow for new and improved drop-off and pick-up procedures that will eliminate the occurrence of vehicles in line on Northshore Drive, and greatly smooth out general vehicular circulation during congested times.

Inside the building, we will begin by removing the interior walls of the current administrative area in the 100 wing of the school and converting that space into a classroom. We will convert the two classrooms on the north end of the 100 wing (Ms. Shaffer’s and Mr. Estepp’s classrooms) to administrative offices.  Restrooms in the 100-wing will be completely re-configured and provided with new fixtures and finishes. The new layout will have lavatories directly adjacent to the hallway. We will also renovate the restrooms in the 200-wing (across from the library) to provide new finishes and new fixtures as needed.

In the 100-wing of the school, we will replace the current HVAC system with a new system that will introduce fresh air into our spaces and provide individual temperature control to classrooms.  The current classroom light fixtures will be replaced with energy efficient fixtures. We will replace all upper floor exterior windows with insulated windows. We will provide a fire suppression (sprinkler) system throughout both floors of the 100-wing. The ceilings and light fixtures will be replaced to provide a fresh clean look. We will perform general paint and repair, along with miscellaneous code compliance upgrades.


Visit the Cathedral campaign website for more details.

By opening of the school year in the Fall of 2015, we will be enjoying these completed improvements, eager to start a new year.  We greatly appreciate your patience during this time of transition and invite you to join us in praying for the success of our mission to help our students’ worship, learn, and serve.

In order to accomplish these improvements in the safest and most efficient manner, we will need to make a one year adjustment to the Sacred Heart Cathedral School calendar.  We have worked very closely with Sr. Mary Marta Abbott, our Superintendent, to align calendars, where possible, to allow for families with students in multiple schools to overlap holidays/breaks.  Additionally, the Young Folks and Preschool calendars will be adjusted to provide our families needing child care coverage during the times when the Sacred Heart Cathedral School calendar does not align with the other schools and camps in our area.  Our summer camps will also have an expanded schedule to accommodate a later start to the school year.

In an effort to communicate these changes in the calendar as quickly as possible there are some details that we will continue working on through the rest of this school year.  We did want to provide you with a calendar for the school year 2015-2016 which shows our planned dates for the beginning and end of school as well as our planned breaks and vacation days.  Knowing that our families plan calendars well in advance we felt it was most appropriate to share what we do know now and follow up with additional communication as details are finalized.  Work is continuing in areas such as providing a rendering of the remodeled space, camp planning, and summer learning plans to bridge the extended summer.  We appreciate your understanding and welcome any questions you may have. Please view the 2015-16 School-year calendar.

In Christ,

Fr. David

Very Rev. David Boettner, V.G.
Vicar General, Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville
Rector, Sacred Heart Cathedral