DOVER — When Holy Cross School, which serves students from pre-kindergaren through eighth grade, opened its doors for the school year Tuesday, families returned to plenty of changes.
Students walked into newly-renovated classrooms, and for Linda Pollitt, a long-time educator at the Catholic school, it was also the start of her first school year as principal.
Mrs. Pollitt worked at Holy Cross for 28 years, teaching seventh- and eighth-grade math, and spent the last three years serving as the school’s assistant principal.
Jill Zink, a spokeswoman for the school, said that Holy Cross Church parishioners raised money for the school renovations as part of a capital campaign for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
All the money that the parishioners raised above their campaign goals went straight back to Holy Cross, she said.
“We did a great job,” she said. “I’m so proud of how everyone at the church raised the needed funds for the diocese and the church.”
Over the summer, workers installed new energy-efficient windows in 16 classrooms in the elementary building, as well as cabinets and shelves. They repainted the rooms, removed old carpets and put down new floors.
“It feels like our teachers are moving into new homes,” Mrs. Zink said. “I’m so excited for them. They’re all thrilled to death.”
In the junior high building, the school chapel was also repainted and workers installed new windows and a new ceiling.
Finally, the elementary school was equipped with a new computer lab and 18 donated Dell computers.
“It’s just updated so nicely. It really needed that. It’s so nice our church helped us do that,” Mrs. Zink said.
A capital campaign committee, which was comprised of parish office employees, school families and parish members, mapped out the renovations.
“We are very excited to see the dedication of our parish family come to fruition,” said Rev. James Lentini, pastor of Holy Cross Church, in a news release. “Through the commitment of a very hard working parish council team, we were able to raise the needed funds to update our buildings.”
Lighthouse Construction, owned and operated by parish member Bob MacLeish Sr., oversaw the renovations over the summer.
The construction company also built the Early Learning Center and Parish Offices in 1999.
Alex Farling, the owner of Delaware Micro and himself a graduate of Holy Cross School, supervised installation of the new computer lab.
For the first time ever, Holy Cross will also have a pre-kindergarten program for 3-year-olds.
Amanda Hauss, a 2015 graduate of Newman University and also a 2007 graduate of Holy Cross School, has been hired as the new program’s teacher.
Other new faces include school nurse Bernadette Kolakowski, first grade teacher, Lindsay Knox; eighth grade teacher Kate White, public relations and marketing officer Jill Zink and Holly Zorn, a classroom aide for the 3-year-old program.