Weekly Letter (Mar 27 ’17)

Dear Parents and Students,

Over the last few months the Ratcliff Architects has been working on the “master plan” for Star of the Sea Parish and School. In early January, the Ratcliff folks met with our Seismic Committee to discuss in very general terms our hopes and dreams for the future. They also reviewed the seismic reports that were prepared last year to ascertain the safety issues we face as we repair or replace various structures on campus.

In February Ratcliff met with “user groups” to get ideas from those of us who use the facilities most often to assess space needs. The three “user groups” were the seismic committee (comprised of parishioners and parents as well as Father Illo, Father Vito and Mr. Hanley); the faculty, staff, Athletic Department, and a few Moms who are very involved in setting up fundraisers and parties here; and the rectory staff including some parish volunteers.

Quite bluntly, we do not have a lot of money, but we do have property that we might be able to leverage to help finance building and site improvements. We may have the largest Parish / School complex in San Francisco. We have a convent, a church, a rectory, an elementary school, a preschool, a high school (the Laurel School was originally Star of the Sea Academy, one of the finest high schools for young ladies in San Francisco), and a gymnasium. One major reason for a “master plan” is to help us figure out what is possible. I admit it is an exaggeration, but right now we are looking at what works best from “everybody bring duct tape” to “let’s rebuild the whole place.” At this point, all our buildings are in play for improvement consideration except the Church.

Ratcliff is currently working on creating two master plan options – one closer to “duct tape”, one closer to “rebuild the whole place”.  When those are ready, Ratcliff will hold several open workshop meetings for parents, parishioners and other stakeholders to attend and give input. The original deadline for all of this was early May, but it seems that we may not meet that deadline.

Father Illo and I want to thank all of you who have been involved in this process so far and encourage the rest of you to attend the open meetings when they are scheduled.

God Bless You All,

Terrence Hanley

Principal

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