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ESK opens middle school

The Episcopal School of Knoxville opened the new $1.75 million wing to its Middle School Building, renamed Googe Hall, Monday, May 5, with chapel services for the 285 students.

The Rev. John Ross, Dean of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, led separate chapel services for the Lower and Middle School students. Ross told the students the new building had been set apart by being blessed. 

“Something is holy because it is set apart and different from the ordinary. We have all been blessed — we are set apart and holy because of baptism and our gifts from God,” he said.

The Middle School students’ service included a celebration of Holy Eucharist. As part of the service, representatives of each class stood and presented their prayers.

Younger children prayed for their friends and their pets; older children also prayed for broader concerns such as the welfare of U.S. troops overseas.

“We wanted one of our first services to be a celebration to signify the openness and welcoming to the table. Like a family coming to dinner, we gathered for a sacred meal in celebration of God’s gifts and blessings,” Mac Brown, lay chaplain of ESK, said.

The new wing added 12,000 square feet to the building, making a total of 22,000 square feet. It includes four classrooms, making a total of 12, a dining room, great room, garden, administrative offices and media center.

A striking bell tower that is visible for miles around the hilltop campus has been fitted out with a 1,000-pound, 103-year-old church bell that now rings three times each day.

In a special ceremony Saturday, May 3, the Rev. Charles von Rosenberg, Episcopal Bishop, blessed each area of the new wing. The blessing was attended by many parents and donors, including Dr. Paul and Mrs. Cynthia  Googe, whose gift made the new wing possible, and Robert and Diana Samples, who donated funds for the new bell tower. 

The Episcopal School is now in its 10th year and expects an enrollment of 314 in the fall.


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