Students study new cathedral construction

Emily Booker Cathedral, Schools

Fred Atkins answers questions from SHCS students about the cathedral construction.

Fred Atkins answers questions from SHCS students about the cathedral construction.

Second-graders at Sacred Heart Cathedral School met with project supervisor Fred Atkins April 7 to learn more about the new cathedral construction taking place just outside their classroom windows.

Mr. Atkins, who is with general contractor Merit Construction, told the students how big the new cathedral would be and what different types of materials went into making a cathedral. He also told them to expect to see lots of concrete trucks rolling in very soon, when the biggest concrete pour of the project will take place.

Students had the opportunity to ask all sorts of questions about the project. Questions ranged from construction [when do the bricks go in? how is the dome made? what is steel?] to the aesthetics of the new cathedral [what color will it be? how many pews will it have? will there be an elevator?].

Students also wondered about the workers and asked about safety rules, lunch breaks, and if they slept at the construction site.

When asked if he ever got bored at work, Mr. Atkins laughed.

“Not here,” he said. “Not at all…What makes it fun is who we’re doing it for, what we’re doing it for, and why we’re doing it.”

Mr. Atkins has spoken to several grades about the construction. He says he enjoys sharing the construction progress with the students and seeing their enthusiasm. The students have lots of questions and pay close attention to the work going on around them.

“It’s really refreshing to see that the school, the church, Father David [Boettner], and the whole staff wants these children to be involved,” he said. “And by no means is it an inconvenience to our day. It really, really has been an inspiration to the construction part of it.”