Mooseheart's 3-year multimillion dollar renovation wraps up
When Mooseheart students returned from Spring Break April 4, they had a new entrance to use. But that was just the beginning: The school's Naval Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps had a new classroom in which to learn, and a nearly finished air rifle range to view, and when the bleachers are installed later this month, there will be a new gymnasium/auditorium ready for use as well.
These areas of the addition, along with offices, storage space, locker rooms, restrooms and a concession area comprise the final pieces to Mooseheart's three-phase, $11.4 million school renovation project.
"This has been something that has been long anticipated by everyone. To have those doors open and to have people walk through them is a great tribute to the gift our Fraternity has given us with the School Renovation Project," Mooseheart Executive Director Gary Urwiler said.
The project began in 2013 to coincide with Mooseheart's centennial. In the first phase, all windows were replaced in the school, an air conditioning system and an elevator were installed, and numerous infrastructure improvements were made. The second phase involved technological upgrades for the entire campus, including high speed wireless Internet connectivity, new computers for the students' on-campus homes and in-school computer labs and a series of upgrades for the individual classrooms.
The final phase involved an addition to the school. The project, funded by the Moose Fraternity, was paid for in January. Finishing touches meant the new space was unavailable before Monday.
"We have benefitted from the kindness and generosity of the Fraternity, which gave us something on our 100th anniversary that would have an impact on all our children. The three phases of the project have allowed the learning climate of the school to take on a new look and feel, and I think our students are definitely excited about this last phase coming to completion," Urwiler said.
The NJROTC program began using the classroom from Monday's first period, with students finding their way to the new area of the school in-time for instruction.
"We have held true to the standard of James J. Davis, our founder, who felt that every child was entitled to an education and a vocation. We have our educational track, the vocational track and then NJROTC, which we feel gives a roundedness to the curriculum," Urwiler said.