Classes back in session at renovated local private school

The upgrades to St. Andrews included

The upgrades to St. Andrews included new HVAC units, as well as new floors and furniture. (Photo by Katie Demeria)

Following much needed fundraiser-fueled renovations and a slight delay, an Oregon Hill private school is back in action.

St. Andrews School has wrapped up renovations of its 114-year-old building at 227 S. Cherry St. and reopened for classes Sept. 28 – a few weeks later than originally planned because of a fire in one of its new air conditioning units in late August.

It took a while to clear away the smoke and water damage and ensure the remaining units were safe, said Michelle Rosman, the school’s director of marketing and communications. But once doors finally opened, this year’s 97 students were welcomed into a clean, cool building, with a new HVAC system, buffed floors that removed years of wear and new plaster walls made to match the historic construction.

St. Andrew's School in Oregon Hill

St. Andrew’s School in Oregon Hill

The work on the building largely consisted of repairing damage to the roof and gutters, both of which were very old and allowed water to seep into the school.

The renovations were fueled by a $1.2 million fundraising campaign completed last year and pro bono contracting work from The Monument Cos. The school surpassed its goal by about $300,000, which allowed it to not only pay for the construction work, but to purchase brand new furniture and ensure each classroom has up-to-date technology, as well.

That mattered a lot to the students, Rosman said, because many are used to receiving second-hand items.

“The kids comment all the time,” Rosman said, “they were really excited to have all new desks, for the first time ever.”

“It makes a huge difference. We want them to walk in and feel pride in their school.”

St. Andrew’s teaches K-5 students from low-income families. Each has full scholarships and is provided with free breakfast, lunch and snack every day. Its annual operating budget is around $1.2 million.

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Bradley Purcell

Congratulations to St. Andrew’s School and its fundraiser Michelle Rosman on their big achievement. It takes skill and huge effort to bring in $1.2 in a campaign while raising the operating budget at the same time, let alone topping that goal by $300,000! Hats off most of all to the farsighted people to choose to give to that school. It’s a wonderful investment in the future, and in Richmond.