I have now been at St. Joseph’s for just over nine years. From the first year I have arrived until now, I have had many parents consistently approach me about expanding our school. We have considered a fair amount of options over these years but for a variety of reasons, none of them have panned out. Perhaps the timing and circumstances weren’t just right. In light of thirty-four 1st graders registering for this school year and thus having to add a second 1st grade classroom, and with our school being up twenty-four students from last year, we will be facing in the very near future a crisis: insufficient classroom space. Foreseeing this likely problem, our parish has acquired over the last several years three separate lots connected to our current parish property, enabling us to more seriously consider expanding our school. At this time we are actively pursuing the construction of an Early Childhood Center on the lot directly south of Domino’s Pizza on Main Street.
Because none of this can get off the ground without consulting and getting the approval from the City of Williston, several very good visits have already taken place with them regarding our desire for expansion. More meetings are scheduled to take place in the upcoming weeks. It is our hope to still break ground this year.
Perhaps you are asking: Why is St. Joseph’s starting its expansion plans with an Early Childhood Center? Well, if this facility indeed comes to fruition by the fall of 2022 which we are hoping, it would allow us to move our two existing preschool classrooms into this new dedicated building. Two classrooms are then freed up for us to accommodate the additional second and third-grades in the subsequent years. This incremental expansion and planned growth is consistent with our vision to reinstate 7th and 8th grade back at our school in the near future.
These are exciting times for St. Joseph School. Despite the challenges of the past couple of years primarily stemming from COVID, things seem to be coming together very nicely. We have substantial growth in our school based on demand; we have a dedicated, professional, and highly qualified staff; and we now have space to build which is in immediate proximity to our current campus. I trust that if this is of the Holy Spirit, He will continue to guide and lead our plans. Please be assured that I will keep you posted of significant developments.
Fr. Russell Kovash