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New addition blessed at St. Gerald School

The Catholic Voice

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss says a prayer Aug. 27 before blessing the new Holy Family statue at St. Gerald School. The linden wood statue was dedicated in memory of Alex Thiele, a student who passed away last year.

A new addition means a new home for seventh and eighth grade students at St. Gerald School in Ralston.

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss joined parishioners, teachers and students Aug. 27 to officially dedicate and bless the new addition, which expands the school to include grades 7 and 8.

'You accomplished it," Archbishop Curtiss said. 'You are providing a school for your children and it is one of the great schools we have in the archdiocese. I congratulate you."

Before the addition, students attended St. Gerald through the sixth grade and then transferred to St. Joan of Arc School for seventh and eighth grades.

'I think this is marvelous to be able to have all the kids go all the way through in one school," said Fran Curran, St. Gerald parishioner. 'These kids now know that they will start here and finish here. It is fantastic."

Kim Nebel, a parishioner with two children in the school, also praised the project.

'This has been the result of a lot of volunteering and donations and it is so nice to see it all come together," she said. 'This new addition just makes it that much better than it already was."

The new addition is handicapped accessible with advanced security and features a state-of-the-art science laboratory, an expanded and improved computer lab, private administrative offices, an infirmary area and the new Carole Manders Media Center.

The 1,625-square-foot media center, named to honor a former school secretary, is twice as large as the old library.

'Carole would be saying, "˜all right be done with it, don't make a fuss,'" said Fran Curran, St. Gerald School librarian. 'She was just such as unassuming, wonderful person and she would be so proud."

Already two weeks into the new school year, St. Gerald students are adjusting to the new atmosphere and some new faces as well.

'We have 10 new students for our eighth grade and they are blending in really well as part of our family," said Principal David Garland. 'We really feel blessed with everything that has taken place."

In addition to the dedication and blessing ceremony, Archbishop Curtiss blessed a new statue of the Holy Family. The 400-pound, hand-carved wood statue was dedicated in memory of Alex Thiele, a St. Gerald student who passed away last year.

The Catholic Voice

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