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St. Mary's kicks off campaign

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:38 PM

The center would be attached to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spring Lake. It would house nearly 500 people a week, including students from St. Mary’s Catholic School.

"Mary, Seat of Wisdom Campaign" co-chairman Tom Conroy said the education center is part of a two-phase process, which began 11 years ago. The first phase began when the parish built a gathering space and activity center, which was paid off in 2008. During its construction, the building was created to allow an additional building at the back of the Spring Lake church, 406 E. Exchange St.

Campaign co-chairwoman Sierra Swartz called the project “forward thinking.”

St. Mary’s School is nearly 60 years old and doesn’t provide enough space to accommodate its growing student population, school officials said. Foundation problems and insufficient outlets for technology are among some its problems.

“The school, with beauty and dignity, is at the end of its life,” said Ted Fricano, another co-chairman for the campaign.

The approximately 15,000-square-foot school houses students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Preschool classes take place at the church, and the rest of the students must walk to the church for special classes such as music and gym.

The parish, which was established in 1866, stands separately and is joined by a parking lot to the school, which was built in 1954.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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