Archbishop Neale Elementary School to Mark First Anniversary of La Plata Tornado

April 14, 2003

The Archbishop Neale Elementary School community will pray at a special Mass marking the first anniversary of the April 2002 tornado, which destroyed the 520-student school:

Monday, April 28, 2003
12:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart Church
201 St. Mary’s Avenue, La Plata, MD

At the Mass, students will be readers and gift bearers, and the school choir will sing. The pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Rev. Matt Siekierski, and priests from other area parishes, whose parishioners attend the school, will concelebrate the Mass.

The tornado that struck La Plata on April 28, 2002 destroyed all but three classrooms of Archbishop Neale Elementary School. FEMA and Catholic Mutual insurance agreed that the remaining portion of the building was unsalvageable. The new school, designed by Patuxent Architects, is to be completed by late January 2004. The building will be 49,000 square feet, about 17,000 square feet larger than the old school, and will include a library, full-size gymnasium, larger classrooms and upgrades to meet new building code requirements. The destroyed building had been constructed in 1951 and added on to in 1999.

During the 2002-2003 school year, the students of Archbishop Neale Elementary School (grades preK-8) have attended classes at a temporary school location behind Sacred Heart Church.

Jennifer Reed
Office of Communications
[email protected]