Cathedral to break ground this summer for new academic building

Cathedral High School in St. Cloud has received approval to move ahead with construction of a $16.5 million academic building, the first new building for the Cathedral campus in more than 50 years, the school announced May 31.

Groundbreaking is set for Aug. 11 with construction beginning in early to mid-August. Completion of the building is scheduled for August 2020.

“The Holy Spirit is working through each of us as we strengthen our St. Cloud area Catholic Community Schools. I am so proud to be standing here today to offer my blessing,” said St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler, who attended an announcement event held in the school parking lot where the new construction will take place.

Located between and connecting Cathedral’s Historic Center Building and the North Gym, the new building will include a new chapel and state-of-the-art programming spaces for the visual arts, sciences and engineering programs. It will become the primary entrance to the Cathedral campus on 7th Avenue North and have views to the Mississippi River from a community room and outdoor patio facing 6th Avenue North.

Cathedral students unfurl a banner celebrating the announcement May 31 that the school will be breaking ground for a new building. (Dianne Towalski/The Central Minnesota Catholic)

“One of the most common questions surrounding The Campaign for Cathedral over the past two years has been, ‘Is it really happening?’ It is my profound pleasure to answer this question today with an absolute and resounding yes,” said Cathedral High School board chair Father Tom Knoblach, a 1979 Cathedral graduate.

The new building, he said at the announcement, will give students an opportunity “to learn about the sciences and the world that God has created, to build community together, and to spend some time thanking God for those gifts in a chapel.

“We are very grateful for the long process of maturity that has been a part of this, and for the many, many people who have been involved,” he added, citing the campaign’s donors, Cathedral’s faculty, staff and students, ATS&R Architects and McGough Construction. “This has been a long process, and we are so grateful to all of you for your perseverance, for your input, and for continuing to inspire us to succeed.”

“As we celebrate this incredible announcement, we give thanks to the amazing community that surrounds Cathedral and all of our Catholic Community Schools,” added Lynn Grewing, superintendent of Catholic Community Schools (CCS). “You have turned this dream into a concrete vision. Some thought it couldn’t be done — I’ll admit, there were days when I thought it couldn’t be done! — and yet here we are.”

Father Tom Knoblach, Cathedral High School board chair, speaks at the May 31 event. (Dianne Towalski/The Central Minnesota Catholic)

Members of The Cathedral High School Corporation, with the consent of the diocesan Finance Council, approved moving ahead with construction earlier this month.

The Campaign for Cathedral seeks to raise $18 million overall, with $16.5 million designated for the new academic building and the remainder for the eight elementary schools in the St. Cloud Catholic Community Schools system.

The campaign must still raise $1.4 million for the new building as well as the $1.5 million for the CCS schools.

In addition to Cathedral, the CCS member schools are All Saints Academy, St. Cloud; Holy Cross, Pearl Lake; Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Cloud; Saint Francis Xavier, Sartell; Saint Joseph Catholic School, St. Joseph; Saint Katharine Drexel, St. Cloud; Saint Mary Help of Christians, St. Augusta; and Saint Wendelin, Luxemburg.

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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