Catholic schools plan expansions

Donations fund improvements.

Area Catholic high schools are expanding and renovating their facilities, but officials said the improvements are needed and don’t pit Catholic schools against each other.

Chaminade Julienne will break ground next month on a $6 million athletic complex that will include a new stadium, practice field and parking lot. Leaders of the Catholic high school made the announcement Wednesday night, indicating a large gift from Roger Glass, a 1960 alum and owner of Marion’s Piazza, allowed the school to fully-fund the project. Once complete, the stadium will bear Glass’ name.

Nearby Alter High School in Kettering needs to raise another $6 million to complete its renovation plans and add a performing arts center. Donations have accrued to $9 million since the school began its campaign in 2009.

Principal Lourdes Lambert said such projects are key to attracting students, but more importantly meet students’ needs once they are enrolled. She applauded C.J.’s announcement, but she added she doesn’t feel such expansions equate to a “competition” among Catholic schools for students.

“I think there are enough students for us to go around,” Lambert said. “I think our public schools are great competition for us, but I think that keeps us on our game.”

According to the Cincinnati archdiocese, there are about 8,500 Catholic school students in the Miami Valley. Roughly 2,000 of those attend Alter, C.J. or Carroll high schools. Each of the schools said their enrollment is growing, and continued investments in their campuses help that upward trend.

Carroll High School is about to launch an $8 million donation campaign to raise money to renovate and expand its chapel and science labs, and it will give its football stadium a facelift.

Making sure your schools are up-to-date is nothing new, said Principal Matt Sableski.

“Facilities are an important piece of the attraction process,” he said. “But not nearly as important as what happens inside the classroom.”