Cape's Trinity Lutheran to expand school

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Construction of an elevator and gym could be done by September.

Trinity Lutheran School will expand by adding a new gymnasium and an elevator at a cost of about $1.3 million.

School officials refer to it as the "Complete the Cross" project because the addition, extending east toward Pacific Street, will result in cross-like footprint for the building.

Trinity Lutheran officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 8 a.m. today at the school at 55 N. Pacific St.

School principal Terry Fark worried that Monday's rain might make for a messy groundbreaking. "I hope it quits raining pretty soon so we can throw dirt instead of mud," he said.

Construction could be completed by the end of September, said Cape Girardeau architect Tom Holshouser, who designed the addition.

The elevator will make the school accessible to handicapped students. The building has three levels.

"Now the school will be truly accessible to all people," said Cindy Gage, a member of the school's fund-raising committee. "We are really excited about that."

Penzel Construction Co. of Jackson will build the brick addition, which includes a 9,800-square-foot gymnasium and an 1,800-square-foot mezzanine that will connect to the school's north and south classroom wings.

"We are putting in a wood gym floor for basketball and volleyball," Holshouser said.

The brick addition will have slightly pitched metal roof. A 20-foot-tall stone cross will be set into the brick front of the addition, he said.

The project also will clear the way for the future renovation of the old gym for additional classrooms and office space.

Fark said the old gym is too small for the school, which currently has more than 190 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade.

Founded in 1854, the parochial school is one of the oldest schools in the city. It has been at its current location since 1925. The central part of the school, including the gym, dates from that time.

Two additions expanded classroom space by the 1960s, Holshouser said.

335-6611, extension 123

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