Our Needs

While our campus has continued to grow and improve throughout the years, our physical plant has not undergone any major renovations since the addition of the 1958 school building. The time has come to make the necessary improvements to our campus so that we may remain the vibrant faith community that has been our legacy since 1920.

The Blessed Sacrament campus presents a unique set of challenges. We are a land-locked institution that has enjoyed a grandfather status for a number of years in regard to more recent building and occupancy codes. As we prepare to endeavor on this project, we must consider the domino-effect that improvements will trigger as we address our current challenges.

Antiquated School HVAC system

• Our existing HVAC system was originally installed in 1958. Today, it fails to maintain consistent temperatures throughout our facility.

• In addition to the individual systems malfunctioning due to the general deterioration from aging, the systems also create a great deal of noise when in use which does not provide an optimal learning environment for our students.

• Furthermore, the equipment and electrical systems are outdated and not energy efficient.

Inadequate Office & Meeting Space

Our parish and school administrative offices are also inadequate for a campus of our size.

• Our school offices are extremely crowded and antiquated. Currently, the school’s secretary, bookkeeper, receptionist, office manager and principal all share one small space that was originally intended for two staff members. Our assistant principal currently works out of a storage room due to the lack of available office space.

• Our Parish Center was originally designed as a rectory and is not configured well for the needs of our staff. Ideally, we would like to have a private office for our Pastor and parochial vicar with a shared office space for the secretary, receptionist and bookkeeper.

• Additionally, our office technology is woefully inadequate and the electrical systems are old and cannot handle the demands needed for today’s increased technology usages. Upgrades are desperately needed. 

• We also lack adequate space for meetings and programs.  As we continue to grow, we are finding less available space for our school’s programs and less opportunity to provide dedicated meeting space. For example, our staff of 50 currently meets in a classroom designed for 25 students. This means that some of our staff members are forced to sit on the floor because this space will only allow for so much seating room.

• We also need a place to meet with parents confidentially, for small groups of teachers and for our counselors to meet with parents and teachers when holding student support team meetings. Currently, we utilize classrooms or any available space as needed which is not always conducive to our needs.

• Our entire campus lacks conference space. We lack meeting space for gatherings such as cub scout and girl scout troops as well as a secure space for counting Sunday collections.

Insufficient Room for Our School Enrichment and Remediation Programs

Additional space is also desperately needed at our school. Blessed Sacrament offers a wide variety of programs that enrich and remediate our learners beyond the homeroom classroom experience. We offer art, music, physical education, Spanish, interrelated resource remedial reading and a science laboratory.

• Currently, our art classes are held in the basement of the school building. This room does not offer any natural light and provides limited space for creative opportunities.

• We do not have an appropriate space for our music program. Our stage is located within the cafeteria. During music class, students are rehearsing while other students are eating their lunch. This particular space offers no sound buffer for instruction and is distracting for everyone. Furthermore, the small closet behind the stage is used for the storage of choir robes and materials for both the school and parish which limits what our music program can store within this space.

• Due to the fact that our gymnasium and cafeteria is used for a multitude of things, it is not always available when needed. During inclement weather, our physical education classes have to be held in the classrooms when the gym is being used for other things. This obviously restricts physical activity and impacts teacher planning time.

• Spanish is also taught in the homeroom classroom which forces teachers to move their materials to another location during this time frame which also impacts teacher planning time.

• Our interrelated resource program and our science lab are taught in the Child Development Center across the street from the school. Travel time to and from class diminishes instructional time for our students.

• Finally, our remedial reading program is taught in a room designated as a small office which limits the number of students that can be served and the learning activities that can be provided.

Inadequate Classroom Space

Today our school is regarded as one of the region’s finest Pre-K through eighth grade schools. We have been blessed with the largest enrollment of any Catholic school in the Diocese of Savannah for the last three years. While students’ needs are being met creatively with our current space limitations, increased square footage would allow us to enhance the learning environment.

• We need additional classrooms to better serve our Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade classes. These are the years in which the student-to-teacher ratio is critically important. Since we lack space for this particular age group, it keeps us from increasing enrollment in grades where we typically have a waiting list. One of our third grade classes resided in a trailer at present. Additional space is needed for us to add this class into the general facility.

• Our second through fifth grade classes also need increased square footage. Unfortunately, most of these classrooms are below the minimum square footage requirements. Without this extra space, we limit the social and physical development of our students during these formative years.

Program Limitations

Blessed Sacrament School is very proud of our state-of-the-art technology programs. Over the last five years, we have incorporated iPad’s, SMART boards, mini laptops and cutting edge technology instruction preparing our children to compete in a technological world. While we have made great strides, some challenges still remain:

• Space is desperately needed in order to add programs such as distance learning and laboratory teaching. Lack of space also keeps us from providing classes such as robotic instruction, digital photography, video communications and story boards.

• Designated room is also needed to properly protect and ventilate our server. Additional room is also needed to store technological instruments and materials as they are prepared and reconfigured.

• Our media center remains a hub of learning encouraging both the love of reading at an early age and preparing our students for advanced research in the middle years. So, the inability to shelve all books, periodicals, journals and AV equipment that supports and enhances the learning experience is a big concern.

• In addition to our technology program, we also offer an extended day program in the morning and afternoon which is a much needed service for our parents. We have an average of 100 students enrolled year after year that currently meet in the school gymnasium. Dedicated space is needed for snack, arts and crafts, indoor play during inclement weather and a quiet space for studying and homework.

Need for More Storage

Storage is also problematic on Blessed Sacrament’s campus. There is no longer any designated storage space for materials, equipment or furniture.

• For example, textbooks are stored in classrooms, tables and chairs are stored in the cafeteria’s kitchen, and the girls’ locker room houses the surplus of desks, chairs and seasonal materials which limits the use of the locker rooms during athletic events.

• Our parish offices are also in need of dedicated storage space. For example, we need a secure, fireproof place to store confidential records.

“God calls us to care for and cultivate all that He has given us…not to be complacent, but rather to constantly strive to be better, to build on and improve what we have…always trying to realize our God-given potential.”