St. Ed hits Phase One goal

St. Edmond Catholic School has completed Phase One of its capital campaign, reaching its goal of $3 million in pledges.

The first $1.2 million is earmarked for an endowment for the school’s one-to-one computer program, according to Tom Miklo, director of development.

“We were (grades) nine through 12, and now we’re eight through 12,” Miklo said. “We had the first four years of the program paid for. We wanted to have an endowed fund in place to help assist that and we’d like to continue to raise money and to integrate our computer program in the lower levels as well.”

The next $1.8 million will go toward infrastructure needs, Miklo said.

“Our original heating system is from 1955,” he said. “We did have to replace the boilers about three or four years ago. We had to replace the piping. And all the units in the old high school were also 58 years old. They didn’t work very well, our kids were freezing in the winter time, so we’re addressing that issue. And I think a lot of that has been done. There’s some places we’ll probably get to next summer.”

Keith Kolacia, a campaign co-chair along with his wife, Jayne, and Rick and Pam McCarville, said the renovations have been discussed for more than 10 years.

“We’ve been on borrowed time,” Kolacia said. “The life expectancy of the heating system is about 40 years. And when we started these upgrades I would say that was about 50 years after we installed the original equipment. To say the need is there is a huge understatement.”

The heating project will be done in two phases, Kolacia said, the first to focus on the school’s single story addition built in 1964.

“We have gone through and completely taken out all the old piping. Delivery system has basically been replaced. And the end units, the heating cabinets, have been replaced, as well,” he said. “One of the problems we faced in this building was that you could enter many climates throughout the winter. After next year, it will be a more balanced heat.”

Kolacia said the community’s support was gratifying.

“We don’t have the advantage of tax-based funding really to help support us for many of our projects around here, so to see our stakeholders step up and show us they believe in what we’re doing, to support us in the way they do, is a testament to the impact this school has had on many people,” he said.

Miklo said fundraising efforts will continue.

“We’ve reached our initial goal of a little over $3 million in pledges, but we want to keep this alive,” he said. “There are still some people in places we will solicit for funds because we do need to continue to build that computer endowment.”

A problem facing the school, Miklo said, is the unknowable future of technology.

“We bought these laptops and there was a four-year lease. When that’s up, we don’t know what’s next,” he said. “It’s probably not going to be laptops. It could be iPads, it might be iPhones. Who knows? Technology is changing so rapidly. We just have to be prepared for the next phase, the next step. We’re very pleased we were able to get this done.”

Miklo said he could not be happier with the outcome of the campaign.

“This is part of the master plan,” he said. “It’s always good to succeed. We’re just hoping it breeds more donorship.”

Mary Gibb, St. Edmond Catholic School president, said she was impressed with the campaign’s success.

“It shows me how committed people are to maintaining the tradition of excellence in our Catholic school,” Gibb said. “In the years to come, I hope we can expand our one-to-one computer initiative as well as continue to make building improvements.”

She added, “I’m very excited about the future of St. Edmond.”