New buildings, same heart

As workers remove old cement foundations and pour new foundations, the Framing Our Future construction project at Convent of the Sacred Heart separates Lower, Middle, and Upper School events. Yet the strong foundation of community remains intact as it continues to be built. 

As the Framing Our Future construction project progresses at Convent of the Sacred Heart Greenwich, the community continues to grow and maintain its values. Jade Cohen ’17 and Kristen Davis ’17

The construction is a huge undertaking and the whole community has the opportunity to witness its progress, particularly from the large windows of many Upper School classrooms. It is a constant topic of discussion as students and teachers alike anticipate its completion. 

But, until the project is completed next fall, the Sacred Heart community has had to find alternative venues for events. For example, the yearly prayer service held in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traditionally takes place in the gym with the entire school community present. This year, however, the service had to be moved to the theater for two separate celebrations.

Assistant Head of School, Mr. Michael Baber, felt that the new location had a positive effect on the atmosphere of the event.
“My experience was that the smaller gathering space added to the dimension of intimacy because there was a closer proximity between the community and those leading us in prayer and song,” Mr. Baber said.

Similar to Mr. Baber, I found that the relocation to the theater did not change the atmosphere of this much anticipated gathering. The room was filled with excitement and enthusiasm for the Gospel Knight singers and praise for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The gym renovation also affects Sacred Heart sports team members, such as the volleyball and basketball players, who had to travel to nearby facilities for practice. Although this seems inconvenient, it offered a bonding opportunity for students who traveled together on the bus to practice at a nearby location.

The construction project will also reimagine our eating spaces. When construction begins on the dining room, students will have to eat lunch in common spaces that already exist throughout the school, such as the Core Center and the Hayes Commons Room. I think eating lunch elsewhere is bound to give different grades the opportunity to intermingle.

I believe that every change the construction imposes on the community offers an opportunity to nurture and strengthen a sense of togetherness throughout the school. The November 20 prayer service honoring the raising of the last beam for the new athletic facility was a venue for community building and offered a sense of unity amongst the whole community gathered outside the new complex.

As students and teachers read prayers to open this new chapter in the construction project, I could not help but notice the strong foundation of faith and hope for the future, present in all community members.

Framing Our Future also brings many new opportunities for the community to work towards a common goal. For example, the Class of 2014 came together last year to fundraise for a brick to add to the Alumnae Garden. This accomplishment brought a portion of the community together and strengthened the already strong ties they had with one another.

As Sacred Heart works to fulfill its mission of building new facilities, the community continues to embody the Goals and Criteria. Goal Four at Sacred Heart encourages the building of community as a Christian value. Despite the many location changes and separated events induced by the construction, the community has shown its ability to grow and be flexible to change, while simultaneously maintaining its values.

As foundations of buildings rise outside classroom windows, the foundation of community inside the classroom grows each and every day as the future is framed here at Sacred Heart. 

In the fall of 2015, ribbons may be cut in honor of the completion of the construction project, but the bonds of community at Sacred Heart will continue to remain strong.