Aug. 23, 2019

Seton students greeted by $7 million in renovations on first day of school

Seton students greeted by $7 million in renovations on first day of school

There's no better way to kick off a new school year than with fresh digs, and students returning to Seton High School were greeted Friday by a $7 million surprise.

Upon opening the doors of the cafeteria, students yelled and cheered upon stepping inside The Halo Café.

"Coming in and seeing our entire cafeteria being redone, that was the most exciting part of this year," said Sarah O'Shea, a senior at Seton.

Crews broke ground on this major project back in April; the remaining money went toward improvements on two floors of classrooms and offices, and the chapel.

"The other 5 million (dollars) is spread throughout the classrooms and the offices with new flooring, new windows, new lights, all new ceilings, paint, air conditioning — to finally give Seton High School air conditioning in 2019," said Ben Hetzel, the project manager for Monarch Construction.

Hetzel said crews worked in full force to ensure the students could smile at their upgraded school come day one.

"Average manpower on staff for each day was anywhere from 90 to 100 and crews would work anywhere from a standard eight-hour shift to 12- or 14-hour days," said Hetzel.

One of the most unusual aspects of this upgrade is the floor — only the second type in the nation, created by a west side company, Hardig Industrial.

"It's a hydraulic-based cement product with self-leveling topping that goes over an existing slab," explained Hetzel.

He continued, "Very minor prep work, basically they take diamond grinders, scarify the surface, fix any cracks that are there to prevent any additional settlement and then this topping is poured over and laid. And then it goes through a polishing and a grinding process, vacuum everything up, open up all the pores and then they place the colors and the sealer in as well."

This school makeover won't only change the physical appearance of the school, but it will help build the bond of the Seton Community.

"We come together as one, we don't separate people and just knowing we got our renovations done, I feel like more of us will become like family and not be separated by class," said O'Shea.

And for Hetzel, who happens to be a graduate of Elder (class of '08), it's about a lot more than making money. It's about west side pride.

"All the great work that they do here in this community to keep this community thriving in the way it's been — it's been a great, really it's been an honor — to work with these people," said Hetzel.

I guess, for these Saints, you could call these new renovations a little slice of heaven.

View full story and interview here.

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