The school and its foundation recently received $5.5 million in donations that will enable construction of the new classroom wing to begin in the spring of 2018. The classrooms are expected to be ready when school commences in the fall of 2019.
Father James Meysenburg, the school’s chief administrative officer, said the additional classroom space has been a part of the school’s master facility plan for almost seven years. With the significant growth in student population in the last five years, the timing of this new addition is spot on. Father Meysenburg said he is edified by the generosity of Pius X supporters for this project.
“Basically, with several different capital campaigns going on in the diocese, it was not wise to have a full-fledged campaign for this project,” he said. “Instead, we were able to promote the project with several local philanthropists, with alumni from around the country, and with our guests at BOLT, our annual gala/dinner.
“On July 1, we were still $2.2 million short of our goal,” he said. “Amazingly, by August 15th, we had made our goal.”
The additional classrooms will allow for continued growth and the assurance that no student desiring to receive a Catholic education will be denied enrollment.
The new classroom addition will extend the northwest corner of the current building. Additional parking on the east side of the school – will replace the section of current parking where the new classrooms will be built.
Enrollment has risen in recent years at Pius X, and that growth is expected to continue – a trend fueled by Lincoln’s expansion, interest in high quality Catholic education, and the affordability of Pius X tuition. As the state’s largest Catholic co-ed high school and the only Catholic high school serving the city of Lincoln, Pius X is prepared to address the growing demand by providing these 13 new classrooms, while continuing to offer tuition assistance for families.
“The Lincoln Catholic community has a history of supporting our school’s efforts to build up the Church by forming disciples in a rigorous academic setting,” said principal Tom Korta. “We focus on preparing our students to have the heart to love and serve others along with the mind to contribute well in whatever vocation lies before them. The number of classrooms and the types of classrooms being added reflect our desire to seek ways to provide a quality education to as many students as we can.”
As the new classrooms are built, existing classroom spaces will be renovated and repurposed. Adding new classrooms and updating the Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD), industrial arts, fine arts and consumer science classrooms with contemporary learning spaces will help prepare students for the next generation.
The additional classrooms will benefit teachers by allowing for a more continuous use of learning space, and reducing the need to share classrooms with other teachers. In turn, the addition will allow for more teacher and student interaction, enhancing learning opportunities. Having the CADD lab and industrial arts shop/classroom near each other will provide a greater opportunity for students, for example, and will make the present CADD computer lab more available for other classes.
The addition of an ensemble classroom and practice area will allow for a dedicated space for small group instruction and rehearsal for band and vocal students. Musical groups will no longer need to seek out hallways or other makeshift spaces for rehearsal.
Replacement of the current family and consumer science classroom will include four kitchen work stations, modern appliances, necessary work space, improved lighting and ventilation, and storage to increase student engagement and hands-on learning.
Relocation of the art area will create two additional classrooms in its current location and provide a modern, state-of-the-art, creative space and storage.
A new 400 sq. ft. conference room will be available for staff meetings, small group projects, and class preparation, along with Bible studies and spiritual direction.
The addition of a teacher workroom and six new classrooms, and the renovation of three existing classrooms will help teachers work more effectively and efficiently. Many spaces are currently over-shared by teachers, with some classes being held in portable classrooms. The new space will allow for increases in student enrollment.
Ranking among the top 5% of all Catholic high schools in the country, Pius X provides an affordable, Catholic education in a positive environment. As part of the Pius X family, students deepen their faith and knowledge and have opportunities to pursue their talents and passions. With more than 1,250 students, Pius X has served the Lincoln community for more than 60 years and works to instill six core values - excellence, service, purpose, faith, integrity and charity - into the next generation of leaders.