Pinecrest Celebrates Grand Opening of New School

Pinecrest Academy preceded its first day of school with the Grand Opening of a new Lower School building.
The private PreK-12 college preparatory Catholic school hosted a Ribbon Cutting and Building Blessing on Wednesday, August 7, at 8:30am, in front of the new building, with hundreds in attendance.

“We are making history today, as the first permanent structure for our Lower School has been completed and is ready for our students and faculty to use,” said Dr. Edward J. Spurka, Head of School, in his opening greeting. “This building would not be possible without the generosity of our community and the continuous and unending prayers for Pinecrest that began 26 years ago with the vision of our founding families.” Dr. Spurka thanked guests in attendance, including Pinecrest families, faculty, staff, benefactors, members of the Chamber of Commerce, and the media.
The event began with a flag raising by Lower School students Hannah Laing, Shannon Kress, Ryan Kress, and Julian Stacey - all members of the Boy and Girl Scouts. The Flag raised had flown over Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, sent to Pinecrest by Tim Schafer, a former Pinecrest student and member of one of the school’s founding families. The Pledge of Allegiance followed, and then Pinecrest sophomore, Kate O’Rourke, sang the National Anthem.

Dr. Spurka introduced guests to Pinecrest’s new Lower School Principal, Mr. Len Forti, who joins the school with many years’ experience as an elementary school principal.
Mark Doxtader, Pinecrest Academy’s Chairman of the Board, addressed the crowd. “Thank you for sharing in this historical moment for Pinecrest. We have been praying for and working toward the fulfillment of this dream, to have a permanent Lower School building at Pinecrest Academy,” commented Doxtader. 

“It is with gratitude and great pride that I take a moment to thank everyone who embraced this project and brought it to fruition. First and foremost, I would like to give thanks to Christ for being the center of all we accomplish here. And to Mary our Mother, who intercedes on our behalf,” said Doxtader. He extended thanks to the Board of Trustees, Building Committee, Facilities Team, Business Office, Development Team, Hodges and Hicks General Contractors, Lyman Davidson Dooley, Inc., construction crew, donors, and the Pinecrest community.
After Doxtader’s address, Dr. Spurka invited Fr. Matthew Kaderabek, Lower School Chaplain, to bless the building. Accompanied by altar server and Lower School student, Jack Metts, Fr. Kaderabek recited a “new school blessing” and sprinkled the building and grounds with holy water.
“In just a moment, we will open the doors to our beautiful new building,” commented Dr. Spurka. “I would like to ask two seniors who have been here since PreK3, Hank Lynch and Jack Morrissey, to come forward and hold the ribbon. I ask our ribbon cutters to come forward: representing our past is alumna and Pinecrest third grade teacher, Sarah Stubbs; representing our present is a senior who has attended Pinecrest since PreK3, Vanessa Pausa; and representing our future is PreK3 and PreK4 sister and brother team, Taylor and Tommy Berthelsen.”
Dr. Spurka invited Lower School teachers to the front of the building to stand with students cutting the ribbon. The cutting was met with cheers and applause, and then guests followed Lower School teachers into the new building for tours.

As with all constructed buildings on campus, the Lower School building has been built on a foundation that is much more than a slab and steel beams. At the Groundbreaking in September 2018, the ground was blessed before construction began. Just before the slab was poured, members of administration placed blessed medals into the foundation. And the crucifix that hangs high on the main lobby wall was handmade by Pinecrest parent and Building Committee member, Matt Smith. Classrooms will be named after saints, and the Chapel is dedicated to Monsignor Donald Kiernan, former pastor of All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, GA, who offered space in his church for the school to hold classes in, prior to its move to Forsyth County.

Pinecrest Academy celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in September 2018, and has been on its current campus, now comprised of 68 acres, since 1998. The campus continues to expand, as a new turf athletic field is under construction, to be unveiled on Friday, September 13, 2019, at the first home Varsity Football game.
Pinecrest Academy is a private PreK3-12 Catholic school located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children. To learn more about our unique educational philosophy, visit our Welcome page.

The mission of Pinecrest Academy is reflected in the word Integer, which is Latin for “whole,” or “entire,” and reflects our goal of forming the whole child as an authentic “Person in Christ.” The school motto Semper Altius, means “Always Higher,” and challenges our students, parents, staff and faculty to strive for excellence in all areas of Integral Formation® - intellectual, spiritual, human and apostolic.