SALT LAKE CITY — A number of improvements at J.E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School were blessed by Bishop Oscar A. Solis during a May 30 celebration that took guests into the halls and outside on the grounds.
The school has recently renovated its technology classroom and playground, and constructed a music room and garden.
Among those present at the ceremony were Deacon George Reade, chancellor; Mark Longe, superintendent of Utah Catholic Schools; Karin Hurley, director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development; Fr. Joshua Santos, administrator of St. Ambrose Parish, which is adjacent to the school; Fr. Andrzej Skrzypiec, former pastor; and benefactors and members of the school community.
“All of you are VIPs today,” said Betsy Hunt, principal, as she welcomed those present. “It means so much because all of you are here.”
The improvements are meant to help “provide a setting for students where they can learn, where they can enjoy what they’re learning, where they can play. Without the help of some very generous individuals and foundations, this would not have been possible,” Hunt said.
Before sprinkling holy water on the facilities and asking for God’s blessing on those who use them, Bishop Solis added his thanks to those present, saying, “Your support is so meaningful because it helps us in our evangelizing mission, especially for the children and for the youth.”
At the May 30 ceremony, the school’s computer lab, which was built about five years ago through donations, was dedicated as the Roger and Mary Lowe Technology Learning Center.
The Lowes have provided technology equipment for the computer lab, classrooms and school office, and assisted with repairs and upgrades as well as the purchase of computers, smart boards, iPads and Chromebooks, Hunt said. With the name plaque outside the computer lab, “We hope that this will remind people always, as long as this school is here, how kind and generous you’ve been to us,” she said to the Lowes, who were present.
Previously, Cosgriff students practiced band in the gym and had violin lessons in the classroom, but with the new Maureen McCarthey and Terrence K. Stephens Center for Music Instruction, they will have a dedicated area to play and store their instruments.
Last year, the school invited representatives of the E.L. Wiegand Foundation to visit the campus. After seeing the students at recess in the parking lot, the foundation representatives said they would help fund a playground, with the requirement that it include an outdoor academic classroom. The upshot is a fenced playground that includes new equipment on a foam-like surface that has resulted in fewer broken arms from students falling while playing, Hunt said.
In addition, with help from the ALSAM Foundation and other donors, the new playground has a basketball court, a grassy area for soccer and volleyball, and a track around the field. Northstar Builders designed and constructed the athletic field, playground and outside classroom.
“Everything has been improved so greatly,” Hunt said. “Please know that the children love this, and it’s safe. They don’t go outside the fence.”
Adjacent to the outdoor classroom on the east side of the school is the new Phil & Beckie Winston Peace Garden. Phil Winston suggested the garden and was instrumental in designing it, Hunt said. The garden, which has benches, shade trees and a fountain, also includes a statue of the Holy Family donated by Carolyn Goodwin Schubach.
As the celebration concluded, Hunt thanked those who made the day possible, including the parents, grandparents, teachers and all who work at the school. “We couldn’t do it without you,” she said.