Story by LIZ QUIRIN
A new school is taking shape right before their eyes at Our Lady of Mt. Caramel in Herrin. Msgr. Kenneth Schaefer, pastor, checks on the building’s progress every day, he said.
Principal Stacy Faye Myatt also keeps a watchful eye on the progress of the new building. The parish is watching the building grow and take shape daily.
“It looks like a school now,” Myatt said. “I can stand in classrooms now.” She said she feels like she’s “standing inside the drawings” of the school.
School personnel, parishioners, pastor and staff are beyond excited about its progress. “It’s going well,” Msgr. Schaefer said. “It’s ahead of schedule.”
The plan now is to move into the building between Thanksgiving and Christmas. “The roof is going on as we speak,” he said.
The four evangelists — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — will grace the front of the building. This year’s eighth-grade student, Annelise Coello submitted the sketch that is being used.
The total cost of the project is $7.4 million. The parish has $3.4 million with $1.6 million in pledges.
Myatt said she is looking forward to teaching and not worrying about rooms leaking when it rains. As she looks at the buildings and looks forward to moving in, she said: “This is going to be amazing for pre-K, kindergarten and first grade. They have windows and natural light.” Myatt said she likes the location of their classrooms because they’re close to the office, giving an added feeling of security for the youngest of her students.
An estimated 270 students from Herrin, Carterville, Marion, Johnston City, Carbondale and Harrisburg among other communities are expected to be among the students walking through the doors this fall.
“I’m just so happy we chose Eggemeyer Associates Architects and Fager — McGee contractors. They’re amazing.” The architect is from Herrin and the contractor from Murphysboro.
Msgr. Schaefer said he not only receives donations but also positive feedback from the parish and the community of Herrin.
“The city will allow us to close 18th street and half of it will be renamed Cuggiono Lane in honor of Herrin’s sister city in Italy,” Msgr. Schaefer said. Cuggiono is the town where most of the original Italian families who settled in Herrin originated.
To find out how to donate to the new school, please go to olmcschool.net