Saturday, August 22, 2009


This was the last week of construction before SPX School opens for the fall semester next week. The construction zone looked like bees flying around a hive as workers attempted to get as much work done as possible and to clean up the parking lot for Monday’s first carpool line. None of the sub contractors who are working now have ever experienced morning and afternoon pickup and even though we’ve tried to explain the process, nothing can truly prepare them for that first day. We had considerable good news this week, but what will help the most is that we have gravel down in the parking lot which enables us to begin storing materials there instead of the back parking lot and also to remove our sediment pond and finish installing the new parking lot. In addition, with the ceiling completely installed and all the framing of the walls completed that also frees up much needed space.

As graduation took place, our church was just a skeleton of steel as shown in the photographs below.

Now its almost totally enclosed with the roof insulation and roof itself scheduled to start going up the first day of class.

I’d be remiss, if I didn’t show a photo of SPX School prior to the renovations

and the way it looks as school begins. The last post (Thanks Stephanie Skordas for an excellent story) goes into detail of the work that took place, but this is the way it looks as a completed project. Thanks to Rentenbach Contractors for pulling off a miracle by completing this remodeling in record time. Also thanks to the SPX staff for their patience as work was taking place right up to the day of Open Houses.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Saint Pius X School gets spruced up too

While you're driving by on Elm Street admiring the soaring heights of the new Saint Pius X Catholic Church and marveling at well, how church-y it's looking, don't forget to glance over at Saint Pius X Catholic School too. You might do a double-take.

The school started a spruce up project that began on June 25th and is slated to wrap up before students return on August 24th. Here's what you'll see:
  • New tan paint to blend with the church's color scheme
  • Stone facing on columns to match the stone structure of the church
  • New entryway
  • Improved handicapped-accessible door on the side of the school with remote access and security camera
  • New energy-efficient windows with ecclesiastical points to match the church
"The new windows replace windows that are original to the school," says Principal Anne Knapke. "Not only are they more energy-efficient, but they are also tinted which will minimize the greenhouse effect some of those front classrooms faced in the afternoons." Knapke says the new windows should show an effect on the school's energy bills too.

In order to see some other improvements, you'll have to check out the building from Cornwallis Avenue. A group of volunteer parents and Duke Energy employees have improved and extended two retaining walls near the playground in a three-week construction project. The playground improvements have been spearheaded by parishioner and SPX parent John Walsh, a Duke Energy engineer and paid for mostly via a Duke Energy foundation grant with some additional funding from the PTO.

The whole school update project is a sister project made possible by the school's capital improvement fund and savings, and does not come from the Making A Place At The Table pledges. But the school was able to take advantage of the proximity of the Rentenbach Construction contractors to get this work done at reduced rates and before the school year begins.

"The overall improvements make the school look 25 years younger," Knapke says. "Our school looks more inviting and has great curb appeal from the road."

Have you seen the SPX school improvements? What do you think? We'd love to see your comments below.