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Q&A with Head of School Pamela Juan Hayes ’64 on our new Athletic Center, Dining Room and Outdoor Commons


Dear Sacred Heart Parents: When your daughters returned from spring break, they saw noticeable changes at the back of our School in preparation for the construction of a new Athletic Complex, Dining Room and Outdoor Commons Area. The daily operations at school will remain mostly the same, but our appearance outside will be considerably different. Throughout the life of this project over the next 15 months, the safety of our students will be at the forefront. We will make sure that the work does not impact student learning or become a major disruption. If you have any concerns, I hope that you will let us know. We are so grateful to the many generous donors who have already made commitments to Sacred Heart’s future, and we invite all members of our School community to join us and make their best pledge for our exceptional school.

In anticipation of your questions, we have put together this Q&A fact sheet with some helpful dates. As with any construction project, dates and details may change, but we will keep you informed with emails and updates on the School website. We anticipate some inconveniences as we move through construction, but the prize will be ours in the fall of 2015, when we celebrate the opening of our outstanding new facilities. With gratitude for your support,

Paula Tennyson Chair, Board of Trustees

Pamela Juan Hayes ’64 Head of School



What are the important dates for us to consider?

On May 1, 2014, we will close the existing DuBois Gymnasium, as well as daily access to the school buildings from the back of campus. The Athletic Complex construction zone will be fenced in at this time. The DuBois Gym will reopen in September 2014 for the start of the 2014-15 school year to allow for dance and physical education classes, the fall volleyball season, and the beginning of the Upper School basketball season. On December 7, 2014, the gym will close for the rest of the 2014-15 school year. On March 1, 2015, the Student Dining Room will close for renovation. Fall 2015 is the target date for opening the new Athletic Complex, Dining Room and Outdoor Commons.



What are the plans for dance classes?

Dance classes will be held in the de Csepel Theater and other spaces for the month of May 2014. From the beginning of school in September to Dec 7, 2014, dance will be held in the studio in the DuBois Gym. After that, we will relocate dance classes to the de Csepel Theater and other spaces, until the new studio opens September 2015 in the Athletic Complex. Â


What are the plans for physical education classes?

We will relocate P.E. classes temporarily to available classrooms and other spaces, such as the Middle School commons. When the weather is nice, P.E. classes will be held outdoors on the turf fields or the front lawn.


What are the plans for the athletics program?

The volleyball, basketball and squash programs will continue during construction. For the fall volleyball season and the beginning of the Upper School basketball season, the DuBois Gym will remain open until December 7, 2014. Since the other fall athletic offerings (crew, cross-country, field hockey, soccer and tennis) take place outside the gym, there will be no impact. After the DuBois Gym closes in December 2014, we will use off-campus courts, as we do now for squash and many basketball practices, to accommodate basketball. In the spring of 2015, the gym will remain closed. Middle School volleyball will become a fall offering in 2015-16 in the newly expanded Athletic Complex. 3


Will most games take place at other schools?

From December 7, 2014 through the end of the 2014-15 winter season, Upper and Middle School basketball games will be played at our opponents’ home facilities, whenever possible.



What are the plans for student dining?

There will be very little disruption in dining services. The Student Dining Room will remain open until March 1, 2015 and then close for renovation. It will reopen in mid-September 2015 in new facilities. The following plans will be effective on March 1, 2015: Lower School lunches will be eaten in the classrooms. Middle and Upper Schools will also eat lunch in classrooms, MS commons, US Core Center or outdoors in good weather. Breakfasts will be served to MS and US from the Faculty Dining Room or hallway adjacent to the kitchen door.


What are the contingency plans for graduation and Prize Days?

We always pray for sunshine, but plan for rain. So this year and next, instead of a rain location in the gym, we will use the de Csepel Theater. As at graduation in past years, we will provide live streaming video to those who choose to sit in the air-conditioned chapel.


What about all-school liturgies?

We are considering several options, including individual liturgies by division.



How will construction affect the traffic pattern and parking?Â

Between May 1, 2014 and the end of this school year, the back road will be closed to all traffic. No school parking will be allowed at the back of the school. Beginning on May 1, all faculty and staff will park in the front. Students who drive will park at the tennis courts, with shuttle service to the front circle. During the summer, a temporary parking lot for faculty and staff will be built in the front. When students return in September 2014, they will move back to the permanent student parking lot. Beginning on May 1, there will be changes to traffic patterns and to the pick-up and drop-off of students on campus. Drop-off and pick-up of all students will be in the front circle. Preschool and prekindergarten students will be dropped off at the entrance to the Gillespie Science Center. Lower School teachers will gather the preschool and prekindergarten students in the lobby of the Gillespie Science Center and then walk with the children to The Barat Center for Early Childhood Education. Afternoon pick-up for


preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten will be at 2:50 p.m. at the front porch of the main building. The Lower School vehicles (grades 1-4) will begin their line at the end of the Gillespie Science Center near the island. When the pick-up of preschool through kindergarten ends, the parked LS cars will move into the lower circle for the pick-up of grades 1-4 at the science center entrance. Preschool through kindergarten parents with older daughters in the Lower or Middle Schools may pick up all their children at one time; the students will be dismissed with their older sisters. During the summer, a new road will be constructed to circle behind the site of the new Athletic Complex, the Head of School’s house and along the eastern side of The Barat Center for Early Childhood Education. When school resumes in September 2014, the new road will be accessible to Barat Center parents only for drop-off and pick-up. Look for future updates in emails to parents.


Will the playgrounds be relocated?

As with parking and traffic at the back of the school, we will close the playgrounds beginning on May 1, 2014. While the playground area remains closed during construction, much of its equipment will be relocated to the front lawn for the 2014-15 school year. In September 2015, the playgrounds will reopen on the new Outdoor Commons Area.


Will the location of fire drills change?

Evacuation routes from the classrooms will change with some new locations, which we are discussing with the fire marshal.



How will students access the garden?

Students will access the garden area via a path along the turf fields.



What are the plans for the 2014 Fall Festival?

Since the Fall Festival takes place on the fields, there should be no change in plans.


Where will the Father/Daughter Dinners and the Mother/Daughter Liturgies be held?

These events will not be affected, as they both will be held in the existing gym this fall, and then in the new Athletic Complex.


Does the School have a plan for air quality and dust?

Sacred Heart has adopted a plan to minimize dust and air contaminants during construction. This includes testing by a qualified licensed professional scheduled on a regular basis to ensure that we are meeting our goals for providing a healthy environment for our school community. The contractor is required to post and enforce an air-quality management plan that meets the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council LEED program. This applies to outdoor dust control, as well as indoor air quality in spaces occupied during construction, such as the dining room and DuBois Gym.



What safety measures are being put in place regarding students and construction workers?

Our security will be supplemented to monitor construction workers. Workers will be on a different shift from school hours, with workers arriving before school starts and leaving before dismissal.

Access and egress to the site for construction deliveries will be controlled along designated routes. All construction gates will be locked and secure at the end of each work day.

The School’s general contractor, Pavarini Construction Co. has provided us with a list of their safety measures, which include the following:

Proper signage will be posted to alert students, faculty/staff and visitors of the construction zone and no access.

Install construction perimeter fencing with west and north construction access/egress gates to secure construction zone.

A secure and protected pedestrian walkway will be created and maintained from the main building to the DuBois Gym.

Review campus rules and regulations at the subcontractor kick-off meeting.

There will be assigned parking for construction workers in designated areas only. Contractor parking will be within the fenced-in construction zone, wastewater treatment plant and tennis courts.

Photo ID badges will be assigned to all subcontractors and worn at all times while working on the site. Weekly subcontractor meetings will be held to review and reinforce on-site subcontractor protocol. 10

Subcontractor use of the site beyond the designated construction areas will be strictly prohibited. This incudes, and is not limited to, school courtyards, dining areas and restrooms.


Sacred Heart has always prided itself in its mission of teaching on environmental issues. How will the new project affect the environment and what lessons will we learn?

We continually consider how to deliver the very best education to our students based on the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education. The same high standards we uphold in education translate to the School’s thinking with regard to the design and construction of a healthy, high performance school. This thinking includes a focus on environmental areas in air quality, ambient lighting, architecture, energy, efficiency, maintenance, outdoor space planning, and site engineering. Sacred Heart will work to protect the environment during construction. Elaborate underground storm water storage systems are being provided to handle and treat runoff so as not to pollute the natural areas of the site and neighboring properties. The local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council considers this measure a top regional priority, especially in light of recent storm events.

Natural environments on the site will be protected from erosion and sedimentation impacts from construction activities. As for lessons learned, we plan to use our new facilities and daily practices as vehicles to teach students about science, the environment, physical fitness, and healthy lifestyles. For more on green highlights, please read the next issue of Horizons magazine.



How many families do we need to participate in the capital campaign?

All of them! To be successful in our fundraising for these exciting new projects, we need each family to give a transformational gift so that the children can have all that they need and deserve. For more information on the new construction and the capital campaign, please visit our website:


“Let us be thankful for the past and hopeful for the future, striving in the present to realize the purpose for which Sacred Heart has come into being.”

Design © Peapod Design, New Canaan, CT

Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ (1857-1914) Sixth Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart

1177 King Street, Greenwich, CT 06831

Indicia info will go here

Framing our Future Q&A  
Framing our Future Q&A