By Alin Gregorian
WATERTOWN — By mid-September, St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) will throw open the doors of its new 6,000-square-foot addition, built to accommodate its growing student body as well as provide more instructional and recreational spaces for current students.
The projected cost of the construction is $1.3 million; through a variety of fundraising activities, the school is on target with the project’s funding. Creative means for raising money have included a phone drive by recent graduates and selling bricks with students’ names, which will pave the walkway in front of the building. Avak Kahvejian, the president of the Board of Directors of SSAES, said the project is timely. The bulk of the SSAES campus — kindergarten through fifth grade — is located inside the Armenian Educational and Cultural Center (ACEC) on Nichols Avenue. Under the plan, the existing nursery building on Elton Avenue housing pre-nursery through two nursery grades — will expand into the site of a now-demolished house next to it, which St. Stephen’s Armenian Church, the parent organization of the school, had bought long ago, with a future expansion in mind.
Construction of the addition to the nursery building began immediately upon the conclusion of the school term in June. The school will open on time in early September, but the kindergarten classes will relocate to their new home in the new addition later in the month.