NEWARK — It was easy to see how welcome the new gymnasium is at Christ the Teacher Catholic School with happy pre-schoolers in a circle, playing a raucous game similar to Simon Says.

The new regulation sized athletic center and three classrooms were officially made part of the 20 year old school on Frazier Road Sunday and placed into service right away. The school and St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church have already paid off the $4 million bill for the addition to the school and the addition of a fellowship hall for the church.

Sister LaVerne, principal of the school, said she had the occupancy permit before Sunday but the gym still wasn’t ready.

“We had to hang all the banners,” she said Monday. There are 624 students in the pre-school through 8th grade academy, including 69 from Cecil County according to Stephen Adams, assistant principal.

That grand opening brought out more than 600 people, the sister said. However now it’s down to business.

“We have one full court for basketball,” she said, adding it’s a large court. “Professional basketball could be played here.”

She noted that there’s been more than one suggestion that the school invite the Harlem Globetrotters in for a visit.

It’s also set up for volleyball but on Monday morning more than a dozen pairs of tiny feet stamped, clapped and hopped during a pre-school physical education class.

While waiting for construction to be finished Sister LaVerne said the faculty gave up its lunchroom for that pre-school and after care program.

“The faculty got their lunchroom back,” she announced.

The new classrooms are bright and colorful with vivid, playful rugs on the floor and bold primary color chairs surrounding sturdy tables.

“It’s a wonderful space,” the sister said.

There are only a few spaces left for new students this year. However anyone wanting more information on future enrollment can call 302-838-8850 or plan to attend the open house Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.

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