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Village of Hartland — St. Charles Parish is undertaking a $12.5 million expansion project known as "The Cornerstone Project."

The village board on Jan. 9 approved part of that project, an addition to St. Charles Parish School that will include a new classroom and restrooms. Village administrator David Cox said construction will likely begin by spring and will ramp up when school is out for the summer.

The 4,250-square-foot, two-story addition will be built on the southwest side of the building, adjacent to Renson Road, according to the village.

The new section of the school will include a concession stand next to the existing gym, a STEM classroom, and restrooms in the basement level. The second floor will house three new classrooms, according to documents the church filed with the village.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. STEM education is a national trend that encourages curriculums with a stronger emphasis on technology and science to improve student competitiveness.

Other work included in The Cornerstone Project includes church construction, which will add a new chapel, bell tower, choir loft and family center. The church also plans to add a youth center, child care center, family center, parish and school administrative offices to the complex, according to the church's website, stcharleshartland.com.

According to a case study, school enrollment at St. Charles has increased from 160 to 282 students in the past seven years.

"With limited classroom space available, there is a waiting list of families wishing to enroll their child in the school," the case study said. "With limited classroom space available, there is a waiting list of families wishing to enroll their child in the school."

Neither the church's website nor documents submitted to the village said when the project would be completed. Representatives for the church were not available for comment by press time.

To learn more about St. Charles' plan to add space to its church and school, visit cornerstone.stcharleshartland.com/page/our_vision.

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