AMERICAN FORK — Students at American Heritage School started school Tuesday with hymns, prayers and fearless recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance.

American Heritage is one school, under God, in every way.

And American Heritage parents, students and teachers were giving thanks for a major blessing as the bell rang Tuesday.

The private school that weaves LDS doctrine into lessons about science, history and mathematics moved from a small, old restored church to a shiny, new $10 million schoolhouse.

American Heritage's stately new campus, guarded by wrought-iron fences, stands across the street from the Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple. Land for the facility was bought with an $800,000 donation given to school officials in 1998.

Attributes school leaders aim to teach their charges — humility, faith, charity, courage, wisdom and self-government — are engraved in the building's stone.

On Tuesday, uniform-clad students trekked through polished hallways in wide-eyed wonder. The new digs are much different from the old church, which lacked a lunchroom, gymnasium, administrative offices and adequate restrooms.

The new building has all the desired amenities: large classrooms, a gym that can double as an auditorium, a lunchroom with an industrial kitchen, and wide hallways lit by skylights.

Spacious rooms at the new 400-student capacity building — which officials say was paid for by donations — allowed the school to accept 100 additional students this year.

Enrollment now reaches 300, said Trudy Pace, one of the school's administrators. A lengthy "waiting list" is tapped when spaces become available.


E-MAIL: jeffh@desnews.com