The refurbished St Theresa’s Convent at Lower Delta Road now has a new block for classrooms and a full-size hockey pitch.

In the early morning of Dec 29, four school girls were seen running along Lower Delta waving a blue flag. As they approached the school on a hill, a loud cheer from hundreds of school girls and teachers rang out.

Thus began celebrations marking the return of CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent to its former premises.

The school moved from its former site two years ago as a result of the Education Ministry’s Programme for Rebuilding and IMproving Existing Schools (PRIME).

The Home Run celebration on Dec 29.

The significant improvements the school gained were an air conditioned multi-purpose hall, an indoor sports hall, a new block housing classrooms and a full-size hockey pitch.

As part of the celebrations, a “Home Run” was held and this involved various stakeholders running from the school’s temporary premises at Queensway to the original site at Lower Delta Road.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia and seven priests from neighbouring parishes then held a blessing ceremony.

The theme for the ceremony and the 2012 school year was Let Your Light Shine, from Matthew 5:16.

“CHIJ St Theresa has been traditionally called the ‘light on the hill’ for the … school building had been in its early days the sole source of light for the kampongs in the vicinity,” said school principal Pauline Wong.

“The school has held onto this symbolism over the decades, and worked at nurturing young women of character who will be little lights in their families and the larger communities that they are part of.”

She added, “We’ve had to make sacrifices in order to accommodate the renovations. For example, we’ve had to do away with our ‘lighthouse’, an area where students could relax, and relocate it to a higher floor, and we had to lose our 200-m running rack in order to have the hockey pitch, which is our school’s niche development.”

Sec Four pupil Rachel Ashton Lim, president of the student council, shared her feelings about her school: “You always feel that you’re part of a family. The campus itself is made warm by the people there. When I first came to this school I felt really lost, but my older ‘sisters’, then the seniors, were nice, kind and generous.”

Ms Donna Koh, a Sec One teacher and former pupil of the school said, “What I like about the new campus are the facilities such as the multi-purpose hall and the new classroom block. Everything is much bigger, I feel that all this will contribute to a better learning environment for the students as well as give them a more holistic experience of school.”

By Don Gurugay

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