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Friday, March 16, 2012

New Cardinal Newman School Planned in Columbia

It is great to see authentically Catholic schools flourishing in South Carolina.  One New Jersey Archbishop we know of seems intent on eliminating Catholic education entirely in his diocese.  He publishes an annual list of all the schools that are to be closed  - there are eight on the list for 2012.  But here in South Carolina, concerned Catholics recognize Catholic schools as a necessary extension of the Catholic formation that occurs in the home.  They are also seedbeds for future vocations to religious life and the priesthood.  Finally, as the Holy Father has said, Catholic schools are faith communities proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ and ensure "that His name continues to resound throughout the world."

School leaders have just completed plans for a new and larger Cardinal Newman School to serve South Carolina's Midlands.  The Catholic Miscellany reports:


COLUMBIA—Cardinal Newman School is one step closer to the long-time dream of a new campus.

In early February, school leaders announced they had completed phase one of a long-term fundraising campaign for a new school located on about 50 acres the diocese has purchased off Alpine Road in Northeast Columbia.
The new location would provide more space for growth and parking than the school’s current one off Forest Drive in Columbia, where traffic has increased dramatically over the years. Cardinal Newman has occupied the property since 1961.

The school has raised $2.79 million so far, surpassing the project’s original phase one goal of $2.5 million.

The diocese gave permission for school officials to meet with county officials to plan tree clearing and other preliminary work, which could begin later this year. Plans for the new school and campus include expanded classroom space, a performing arts center, a chapel and expanded athletic facilities.

At an appreciation dinner for about 100 of the school’s supporters held in early February, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone praised their commitment to Cardinal Newman and its of providing a good education grounded in church teachings and values.

He said plans for the new campus are important evidence of the growth and strength of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Charleston, which stands in stark contrast to recent school closings and consolidations in many dioceses in the Northeast and Midwest.

“This is an exciting time for us because we’re not in a downsizing situation, instead we’re building,” the bishop said. “What you’re doing here is a sign of the future,” he said. “It’s wonderful to see people enthusiastically supporting your need for a new campus and supporting Catholic education because we offer something the best public schools can’t offer. It involves putting Jesus Christ at the center of all we do. I can’t wait until I can
walk through the front door of that new building on your new campus.”

The diocese has signed a contract with JHS Architects and Chao Engineering of Columbia who will soon begin plans for the project.

Cardinal Newman principal Jacqualine Kasprowski said the school will eventually start aggressively marketing the Forest Drive property to prospective buyers and research financing to cover costs for the rest of the project.

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