On February 2, 2012, Thursday of Catholic Schools Week, Cardinal Gibbons High School (CGHS) together with the Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, broke ground on a $15.5 million “Building the Vision” expansion and renovation project that will equip the school with additional classrooms, athletics and arts facilities and a new entrance, as well as the latest in technology to help educate new generations of students.
“This project,” said Jason D. Curtis, principal of the CGHS, “will create a vibrant and engaging educational setting that will enhance the spirit that defines Cardinal Gibbons. It will expose students to the modes of expression, collaboration, and problem-solving they will encounter in their college years and beyond.”
The plan, approved by the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh and the City of Raleigh, will increase the size of the college-preparatory school by 67,000 square feet to 204,000 square feet. It calls for adding a two-story classroom wing - featuring additional classrooms, including science labs, as well as professional space for faculty and staff - at the rear of the school, which sits on 37 acres along Edwards Mill Road, across from the RBC Center.
On Thursday, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Bishop Burbidge offered Mass at the high school. Concelebrating were Fr. Doug Reed, Pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Cary, Fr. Scott McCue, Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Chapel Hill, Fr. Romen Acero, CGHS Assistant Principal for Spiritual Life and Fr. Raymond Donaldson, S.J., Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Durham.
In his homily, the Bishop told the assembled students and parents, faculty and friends of CGHS, “The most important thing we must do today on this Feast is to rededicate ourselves, our lives and our all endeavors to Jesus Christ.”
The blessing of the site and groundbreaking ceremony followed the Mass.
Jason Curtis, CGHS Principal, said he was “inspired, being able to celebrate with students, faculty and staff and see their excitement about the project. But the support of the alumni and friends of the school also means so much, that the people from the history of this school can see the future as well.”
Jessica Hebert, a senior at CGHS, said, “I’m really happy for the classes coming up, that they will have more space.” Billy Donnelly, also a senior, hoped the project would encourage the school to expand even further.
Sr. Laura Downing, IHM, teaches theology at CGHS. “This will mean we’ll be able to give our students opportunities to expand our curriculum,” she said. “Teachers will have appropriate instructional space and cutting edge facilities for all the new programs we hope to institute.”
“What an exciting day for Cardinal Gibbons,” Bishop Burbidge said, “that we are in a point in time that because of it great success and growth we need to expand its facilities so it can continue to carry out its mission. I’m very proud of this wonderful Catholic high school, and wish it much continued success.”
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