Sacred Heart School renovations recognize alumni, supporters

Thanks to generous donor support, Sacred Heart School in Morrilton is receiving a significant facelift this summer.

The school’s Development Advisory Board, led by co-chairs Chris and Angie Hartman and Director of Development Alisha Koonce, embarked on an ambitious campaign at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. The primary goals for the project were to improve the appearance of the campus, renovate bathrooms, resolve drainage problems in front of the gym/high school entrance and raise much-needed funds for the school’s operating budget.

More specifically, renovations include:

  • Replacement of the west wall of the cafeteria.
  • Enclosing the front entrance to the gym for improved campus control and security as well as improving traffic flow during events.
  • Updates to the bathrooms in the gym lobby and the high school, including making one of the lobby bathrooms family-friendly (with a baby changing table) and handicap accessible.
  • Installation of more than 430 engraved pavers in front of the Sacred Heart Gym and Elementary entrances as part of the Rebel Plaza and Walk of Patrons (corporate donors). 


“This plaza project allowed us to fix our flooding problems in front of the gym, to make our campus look nicer and to recognize the commitment of our alumni and supporters,” said Alisha Koonce.  

All construction costs were underwritten by private donors so that donations toward named pavers directly benefit the school’s operating needs and tuition assistance for families. The pavers in the Rebel Plaza list individual names, families and classes; businesses are recognized in the Walk of Patrons to be installed in front of the Elementary entrance.  

“We are very grateful to everyone who made a donation toward this project. We are excited that all of our current K-12 classes will be represented in the Plaza as well as 33 alumni classes,” said Koonce.  There will also be four engraved benches on the Rebel Plaza – an area where visitors to the gym frequently gather before and after events. All of the existing concrete has been removed and paver walkways will be installed along with the plazas.  

This year’s projects are in line with the school’s strategic plan which called for campus improvements.  The school chose to focus on the gym/lobby area as it is highly-trafficked by both school and community members. During the course of one year, there are an estimated 12,000 visits to the Sacred Heart Gym/Ruff Auditorium for any number of events. The SH gym has become more than just a place to play basketball and it is widely utilized by the residents of Conway County on a regular basis.


Other recent improvement projects have included the renovation of the high school lab in 2011 and of the elementary building in 2012. These projects were prioritized for their overall impact on the school’s ability to recruit and retain students by taking care of  the aging campus which has remained relatively unchanged since it was constructed in 1956 (elementary) and 1965 (high school).

All work will be completed prior to the start of the school year and the plazas will be dedicated during the fall. “Sacred Heart is very grateful for every donation that has gone into this year’s annual fund, tuition assistance campaign and to support our projects,” Koonce said.  

For more information about the campaign or projects, please contact the development office at 501.354.4358.

Sacred Heart Catholic School has been providing quality Catholic education since 1879.