O’Hara School photo
Workers put finishing touches on the gym at O’Hara School.
O’Hara School photo
Workers put finishing touches on the gym at O’Hara School.
EUGENE — The administration and development team at O’Hara Catholic School has been working on a pressing project.

A year ago, O’Hara learned that the gymnasium roof needed to be replaced before the beginning of the 2014-’15 school year.

It quickly became clear that the $1.6 million project would be the largest undertaking in the 65-year history of the building. Construction would unavoidably ruin the floor. In addition, building codes mandated new bleachers, fire doors and other updates. A stage that was in the original building plans but never completed would be added as well.
Noting the short timeline, parents, grandparents, community members and many local businesses pledged contributions of cash, materials and discounted services. They also lent expertise, which saved a lot of money.

O’Hara was able to use $400,000 of cash reserves from a rainy day fund, and to-date fundraising efforts have brought O’Hara within $340,000 of the goal. The project was on schedule to be completed before the first day of school.

“To say the least, it has been a challenging year,” says Tammy Conway, O’Hara principal. “But it has also been a year filled with more generosity, kindness and blessings than I ever could have imagined. This was not a one or two person project; it has truly been a community effort and we are ever-thankful for the love and support that our families and benefactors show us. It is a true testament to the inherent value of Catholic Education at O’Hara that they see in us, and we are humbled.”