Heritage Academy’s Board of Directors, faculty, staff and students will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 9 a.m. Tuesday to signal the start of construction on Martha Claire Kennedy Fitzner Hall. The new 4,060-square-foot building will provide a student dining facility and classroom space for music and fine arts. It also will allow the current Student Activities Building to revert from a dining area to original uses including indoor physical education, sports and after-hours sports practice, as well as activities such as Boy Scouts and after-school care.
Weathers Construction Co. of Columbus is primary contractor on the build, which is expected to be complete by Aug. 1. Bill Whittle of JBHM Architecture is the architect. This project is the major component of the school’s recent Building on Excellence capital campaign, with its goal of $1.5 million.
The new hall honors the memory of the late Fitzner who taught at Heritage Academy for 18 years. She passed away unexpectedly in September 2015.
“This is ceremonial, but it is also a way for us to begin the process. We wanted to share our good news with the rest of the community that we’re starting construction of the long-awaited hall,” said Cindy Wamble, principal of Heritage Academy Elementary School, where Fitzner taught. “We’re not only making progress but also honoring someone that was so very important and a part of this growth.”
Fitzner, who spent so much of her 30-year teaching career at Heritage, was also an alumna, graduating in the Class of 1975.
Fitzner Hall is a signature project that commemorates Fitzner’s legacy of character and faith and excellence as an educator, Heritage Academy Headmaster Dr. Greg Carlyle said in an April 30, 2016, story in The Dispatch. “For us to be able to honor her legacy in this way through the building, we’ll have a daily reminder of her, and that’s really special to us.”
Pledges and donations are still being accepted to the Building on Excellence campaign. For information about making a tax-deductible contribution, contact Jennifer Brady at 662-327-5272.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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