By David Sedeño
The Texas Catholic
More than 100 people gathered at the Notre Dame School of Dallas on April 20 as Bishop Kevin J. Farrell blessed the newly renovated campus dedicated to enriching the lives of children with disabilities.
The $11 million “Hearts & Hammers” campaign initiated in September 2014 had collected $10,999,751 as of April 19. But philanthropist Mary Terry, who chaired the campaign, handed school officials a check for $249 on the day of the celebration to close out the original campaign. The school is still seeking another $1 million in a “stretch campaign” for other needed items and services.
The school, started 50 years ago by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, moved in 1989 from the University of Dallas to its current location on the campus of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church off of Woodall Rogers Freeway in Uptown.
The work on the building began from top to bottom last summer, including new colored-coded tiles in various sections around the school to denote areas for specific age groups and types of educational programs, technology enhancements, an additional classroom, and an improved gym.
“We love it here,” said David Roosevelt, whose 13-year-old daughter Caroline has been at the school for four years. “Caroline cannot wait to get out of the car and when we pick her up from school she is as happy as she can be.
“The students are around faculty and an administration that loves what they do,” he said. “She is held to a much higher standard here. They all want that. They want responsibility. They want to be held accountable.”
Principal Theresa Francis said that with the new improvements that the school could one day reach the capacity of 170 students, from its current 152.
“I believe that God has entrusted us with this very special ministry,” Francis said, “and today I feel that together we have been good stewards and have, through this campaign, assured that the Notre Dame School will be here to serve the special needs of our children for many years to come.”
After blessing the renovated building, Bishop Farrell told those in attendance that people should never be judged or valued only for what they can produce for others and encouraged them to tour the building and visit with the students.
“The school may be beautiful,” Bishop Farrell said, “but even more beautiful than the walls around here are the children who are here each and every day.”