After more than a year of construction, a new wing greeted 500 students Monday on their first day of school at St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights.
The 17,000-square-foot wing features a center where the church congregation and the school can stage meetings and events with seating for more than 350. It also includes four preschool rooms and a small gym for the youngest students.
The congregation will dedicate the new area Sunday after a 9 a.m. church service and before a church-school picnic, said Principal Bruce Rudi. The cost of the expansion and improvements in the existing building totals $4.5 million, according to the church's website.
The student body Monday celebrated with three new flag poles, flying the American, Illinois and Christian flags.
"We used to have two poles, but we have been without flag poles for a few years," Rudi said. "We all went outside to celebrate the new building and that we are a Christian school in a wonderful country. We talked about our flags being a symbol of who we are and that one of the freedoms we enjoy in our country is the opportunity to have a Christian school like St. Peter."