Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield hits 50-percent completion milestone (photos, video)

Pope Francis High passes 50 percent completion mark (Don Treeger / The Republican)

Posted on October 5, 2017 11:43 AM | Updated October 5, 2017 11:51 AM

The new Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield is more than halfway complete and school officials are looking forward to the halls being filled with students for the 2018-2019 school year.

The $54.5 million project is almost buttoned up for winter, with only a few open areas for contractors to bring in large items. The groundbreaking was just over a year ago and the project is right on schedule.

An open house is scheduled for Sunday, November 5 at the site so prospective students and their families can see first-hand what the new building looks like. Pope Francis High School, a merger of the former Cathedral High School and Holyoke Catholic High School, announced in September it was changing its name to Pope Francis Preparatory School to reflect its “evolution as a rigorous, college-preparatory institution.”

“As we begin planning to move into our new facility for the 2018-2019 academic year we’re challenging the expectations of what a faith-based education should be,” said Ann Rivers, director of admissions. “Our new, state-of-the-art home will offer students plenty of open space in which to collaborate and learn. We’re excited to offer our prospective families the opportunity to tour the building and learn about the exciting educational opportunities that await their children at Pope Francis.”

The 117,000 square foot building houses the usual school amenities such as a cafeteria, theater and gymnasium, but also a unique Media Commons where students can congregate and do research in the center of the school.

A science lab has been outfitted with a wide garage-like door that will allow students to move oversize projects in and out.

Head of School Dr. Paul Harrington commented that, “It’s our goal and our vision that this is a community center. This is Pope Francis, however we hope it to be serving the greater Springfield area and open the doors to outside groups who want to use our space, our field house, our stadium outside, our theater. It’s really about the community at the end of the day.”

Watch: Pope Francis High over 50 percent complete

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