St. Peter Catholic School, Slinger, opened the school year in a “new” building, or at least it seemed that way.StPeterRenovations3Joan Beine, librarian at St. Peter School, Slinger, and third graders enjoy the school’s enlarged library. It was one of the renovations done last summer; others included asbestos removal, remodeling of the principal’s office, installation of shelving, painting and carpeting. (Photo courtesy St. Peter School)

The building, erected in 1949 with a second floor added in 1959, was renovated after classes let out last June and was finished in August.

Carpeting and any asbestos that may have been underneath the carpeting was removed and new carpeting was installed in all the classrooms, offices and the church.

“We had to remove everything out of the school,” Cheryl Jaeger, principal, said. “I got kicked out even. I had to move to the rectory.”

Jaeger said after the new carpet was installed, the air tested “clear” of asbestos.

“Some of the carpeting was between 10 to 20 years old,” Jaeger said.

The school hired Safe Abatement For Everyone Inc., to remove the asbestos.

“We didn’t want to do it ourselves, you know, for safety precautions,” she said.

The school also repainted each classroom and all the hallways, remodeled the principal’s office, faculty lounge, put shelves in the classrooms, and knocked down a wall in the library to increase space.

“There was a huge closet that took up a lot of space and we moved the wall, made the library bigger,” Jaeger said.

The school hired Ryan Bretz & Co. LLC to do all the remodeling for the school.

Jaeger said the renovations cost about $110,000 and were paid by direct donations to the parish savings account, funds from a capital improvement fund, a dinner auction the parish had last year and money left over from “Faith In Our Future” capital campaign.

Faith In Our Future was established in 2007 under then-Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan to “administer and distribute” contributions given to the campaign for “specific projects” toward the benefit for Catholic education.

The new carpet, installed by Kerns Carpet, and paint, done by Kings Work LLC, is expected to last about 25 years.

“If we were spending all that money, we want to make sure it lasts a long time,” Jaeger said.

Jaeger said the response from people is “a sense of, ‘Wow.’”

“It looks like a whole new building,” Jaeger said. “The students are like, ‘Oh great, we have a new room.’”

The renovations also gave the teachers and faculty an opportunity to get rid of things they didn’t need.

“There were able to clean out all this stuff…cleaning all the clutter,” Jaeger said. “They’ve been waiting for (renovations) for so long, they were excited to come back to a nice new classroom.”