Jill Taylor Spero
Prince of Peace breaks ground
Prince of Peace middle school students gather behind project leaders on a November afternoon to watch the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building. Photo courtesy of Jill Spero.
“If you build it, they will come,” is not only a well-known quote from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, but also a fact of life at Prince of Peace Parish. In August 2000, the parish opened its school with just 45 students in grades K-2. It was the first new school in Jefferson County in 50 years. Each successive year, the school added another grade, and this year, enrollment at the school is at 450 students in grades pre-K through eighth; the parish’s religious education program has 1,000 students in Sunday school; and the youth group membership has reached 100.
Now, approaching the school’s 15th anniversary, Prince of Peace has broken ground for a 16,000-square-foot, two-story building to accommodate its growth. The brick structure will feature four standard classrooms plus customized classrooms, a media room, two smaller elective classrooms and a large youth room with an office for youth program directors. The large youth room will also have direct access to the courtyard for group activities. Each floor has restroom facilities and an elevator will make the building handicapped-accessible.
The project architect is CTSM Architects of Birmingham, the general contractor is Duncan & Thompson Construction, and Rast Construction is doing the site clearing. Jim Atkinson, Prince of Peace’s facilities consultant and a founding church member, is overseeing the entire project.
“Our students’ success is a direct correlation between home and school,” Principal Connie Angstadt said. “The exceptional performance of all of our students is a reflection of our dedicated staff, our families that value Catholic education, and hard-working students. Space in the new facility will fuel the continued development of our collaborative middle school curriculum, creating critical thinkers for the future.”
-Submitted by Jill Spero