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St. Francis Xavier Catholic School Holds “Topping Out” to Raise the Final Beam at Construction Site

May 3, 2022 – St. Francis Xavier Catholic School held a Topping Out Ceremony on the construction site of its new school. “Topping out” is a ceremony traditionally held when the last beam is placed atop a structure during its construction.

St. Francis Xavier, the oldest private school in Brunswick, Ga., broke ground on the 30,000-square-foot campus in November of 2021.  Staff, students, local dignitaries, as well as representatives of Savannah-based architecture firm Felder & Associates, and West Construction Company gathered again as the last piece of steel was raised into place. Guests signed the beam ahead of the ceremony, and young students who can’t write, yet, left their marks with a thumbprint. 

“It is important to preserve these types of traditions,” said Brian Felder, managing principal of Felder & Associates. “Topping out ceremonies serve as an important benchmark for those involved in the construction of this school and the children who will study, learn and grow here.”

The new building will encompass preschool through eighth grade, featuring classrooms with the latest technology, as well as a cafetorium, computer lab, science lab, honors classrooms, library, and music room. The building itself will incorporate a unique blend of modern constructions benefits and traditional architecture. The campus will also include a new playground and play surfaces that will be self-contained with modern safety and security measures.   

“The future is bright for our children, with a new, modern facility to enhance their educational opportunities so close to being completed,” said Dr. Terry Mermann, principal of St. Francis Xavier Catholic School. “Knowing that our mark will remain on the infrastructure of the steel building lends even more significance to this undertaking and reenergizes us for the next stage of this building project.”

Matt West, President of West Construction, said, “This ceremony dates back to 700 A.D. and is believed to bring good luck to the builders and the owners. As blessed as we have been with the construction to this point, we’re looking forward to a safe and successful project going forward. It’s only fitting that a ceremony with this much history is held at a parish as historic as St. Francis Xavier.“

Savannah Business Journal : https://bit.ly/3LJdZ8Z

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J.C. Lewis Ford Holds Groundbreaking

By: Savannah CEO

J.C. Lewis Ford, Georgia’s oldest Ford Dealer, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, April 1, for a new Ford Dealership and Quick Lane Service Center at 501 Memorial Blvd in Pooler, Georgia. J.C. Lewis Ford retained Savannah-based architecture firm Hussey, Gay, Bell and West Construction Company.

“Our goal is always to meet the needs of our customers. We continue to provide more locations
to choose from while maintaining the level of service that has kept us in business for so long,” said Walter Lewis of J.C. Lewis Ford. “We’ve taken great pride in serving Savannah, Statesboro, Hinesville, and now Pooler. J.C. Lewis is proud to be part of the city of Pooler and its surrounding areas.”

The new 54,500 square-foot facility is powered by solar panels. It offers modern energy-efficient systems and the interior comforts customers have come to expect from J.C. Lewis and Ford. It also features a new Quick-Lane service center, servicing all-makes, where customers won’t need an appointment and can get service while they wait, even on evenings and weekends. Other features include EV charging stations, a coffee bar, free Wi-Fi area, and modern amenities.

J.C. Lewis Ford has proudly served the communities surrounding Savannah, Georgia, since 1912 with expansion to Statesboro in 2014, Hinesville in 2016, and now Pooler. J.C. Lewis employs a team of 300 with more to come with the Pooler expansion, including sales advisers, highly trained and certified service technicians, and financing experts with a special responsibility to each other and the community to maintain the core principles of transparency, integrity, and service.

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St. Francis Xavier breaks ground on new school building

By LAUREN MCDONALD lmcdonald@thebrunswicknews.com

St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Brunswick broke ground Friday on a new school building.

The planned facility will be a 30,000-square-foot school in downtown Brunswick at Grant and Howe streets.

Bishop Stephen Parkes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah told parents, students, school staff and others gathered for the ceremony that the new school will be a nice addition to the city’s entrance.

“I know a lot of work has been put in to making it something that is special and something very beautiful for God, and also for all of the young people, the students who will be coming here,” he said. “It’s really an honor for us as part of the Diocese of Savannah to be partnering with you and to be able to create something that will be here to stand as a welcome to the gateway of Brunswick.”

The $9 million project has been made possible by local donors.

“What an exciting day for the city of Brunswick, the community of St. Francis Xavier and the greater church,” said Carrie Jane Williamson, interim superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Savannah. “From the first moment that a student sets foot into a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new school environment, one illuminated by the light of faith and having its own unique characteristics.

“Today, we gather to break ground on exactly that — a new environment illuminated by the light of faith and the faithful.”

The new school will boast the latest in modern design, she said, and meticulous thought has been given to the school’s features, which will include a broadcasting studio, contemporary spacious classrooms and comprehensive safety and security systems.

Terry Mermann, principal at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, said he was excited to see the school mark such a milestone.

“It’s so nice to see so many people here today who’ve contributed time, talent, and treasure to get us to this special day,” he said.

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Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist starts renovation project

By Sarah Winkelmann| April 14, 2021 at 4:08 PM EDT – Updated April 14 at 5:44 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – An iconic symbol in downtown Savannah is about to get some updates to its current space.

On Wednesday, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah blessed the start of the renovation project at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The $4.5 million project will convert the church’s undercroft, what’s essentially the church’s basement, into a parish hall.

Once the project is complete, the space will include a reception hall with seating for 600 people, an expanded chapel, a catering kitchen and new vesting cabinets. The new downstairs will match the beauty of the cathedral with vaulted ceilings, decorated columns and a marble floor.

“I think it is going to be a space that people will be proud of and happy to go into,” said Rev. Gerry Schreck, the rector of the Cathedral. “Though it is the undercroft of the cathedral, it’s going to be an uplifting type of experience for people.”

The demolition work is already finished but now the renovation project will begin. The church expects the project should be complete in 12 months.

Watch the full story on WTOC.COM

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Senior Citizens, Inc. opens new Center for Successful Aging

John Kern, Kern & Company; Mayor Van Johnson, City of Savannah; Lila Critz, Co-Chair of the  Capital Campaign; Susan Hancock, Board Chair for SCI; Jeff Kole, Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign; Matt West, West Construction Company; Patti Lyons, President, SCIANAGHA

January 11, 2021 – Senior Citizens, Inc. recently hosted a ribbon cutting for their new Center for Successful Aging.

On Jan. 8, 2021, SCI President Patti Lyons joined board leadership, local dignitaries and key donors to officially open their new center, featuring a state-of-the-art-facility and a total renovation of the nonprofit’s campus.

Serving Savannah and surrounding communities since 1959, SCI provides more than 10 major programs and services to address the changing needs of the aging population, including physical, intellectual, spiritual, and communal well-being. Over the next 15 years, the percentage of older adults (60+) in Savannah alone will increase from 28 percent to 48 percent of the population. To meet this growing need, SCI, a national leader in services for older adults, expanded and enhanced the services they offer.

To learn more about SCI, its services, and plans for expansion, please visit www.seniorcitizensinc.orgor call 912-236-0363. 

Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry celebrate groundbreaking of new location

By SavannahMorning News

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry broke ground Tuesday, March 3, on a new 24,000-square-foot home near Chatham Parkway.

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