Bishop blesses, dedicates school improvements

By HARLAN KIRGAN

New classrooms, library and gymnasium were blessed and dedicated by Bishop Sam Jacobs Wednesday who praised the vision of the Holy Cross community.

“You’ve done a good job,” Jacobs said to about 450 people attending the ceremony in the gymnasium. “You’ve fulfilled your mission. You’ve fulfilled a desire, a dream.”

The $10.3 million expansion project began about seven years ago and its first phase, three buildings that include a gym, library and six classrooms, is expected to be completed by the first of September, said Principal Vic Bonnaffee.

Construction started in 2011 on facilities to be used by Holy Cross Elementary and Central Catholic High schools.

Construction on the second phase of the project at the 14-acre campus, a Life Center to serve the Holy Cross community, is to begin as soon as pile driving can be started, Bonnaffee said. The Life Center is scheduled to be completed by summer 2013.

Bonnaffee said when he arrived here 35 years ago he would not have believed the improvements to the school.

“The emotions we have within us are unbelievable,” he said. “We are in awe. We are amazed. We cannot believe the support that everyone here in this community gives to this school. And it is just not to the school, it is to the values of the school.”

Jacobs referred to the church parish’s Vision 2012 program that planned the improvements, which is the first major building project since 1980.

“When the first people came to this area to look at building a high school building, an elementary school, they probably just saw a slab, but they had a vision and with vision they could see a Catholic high school. They could see a Catholic elementary school and over the years they have been chipping away.”

Rebecca David, an eighth-grader at the school, was with friends in the new library after the ceremony.

“I’m really happy,” she said of the building. “I thought it was really awesome. All the new stuff, like we get these comfy chairs.”

Ruben Thomas, who said he is a 1985 graduate of CCHS and has a daughter, Emma, attending now, called the improvements 2

Ruben Thomas said, “When you see all the changes and just the buildings, it is amazing to think it actually happened here.”

Burt Adams, chairman of the Vision 2012 Campaign, led Wednesday’s ceremony, which included recognizing major donors and organizers.

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