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Construction ongoing at area private schools
KCHS wing scheduled to be ready in January


Several area private school campuses have been turned into construction zones, and Knoxville Catholic High School is no exception.

Dickie Sompayrac, KCHS principal, said the school is adding on a new wing.

“It’s basically an academic wing, and it’s 19,000 square feet,” he said. “It will contain 10 new classrooms, including two science labs and a computer lab. It’s also going to contain a guidance suite, which will contain all of the guidance offices.”

The addition was prompted by the school’s recent growth.

“It’s the growth that we’re experiencing. When the school moved to where we are now, back in 2000, the student population at Knoxville Catholic the year prior to the move was about 350 students,” Sompayrac said. “This new campus was built originally, the first phase was built to hold 600 with the potential to add on and grow to, depending on how much we added on, anywhere from 800 to 1,000.

“In the six or so years we’ve been here, we’ve gone from 350 students to finishing last year with 602 students, which is the capacity of the current facility,” he added. “When we start[ed] school this fall, [we had] about 650 students. If you project into the next three to five years, our projected growth will put us somewhere between 750 and 800 students.”

After the academic wing is complete, “800 will be the maximum capacity,” he said.

The classrooms, labs and offices weren’t ready at the beginning of the new school year, which began Monday, Aug. 6, for teachers and Monday, Aug. 13, for students.

“This new wing is not actually going to be completed until right around Thanksgiving, so we won’t be able to move into it until January, which is the start of the second semester,” Sompayrac said.

The school is still raising funds to try to pay for the construction and future projects.

“The cost of this addition is right around $3 million. As far as fund-raising, right now we are just over $2.8 million in pledges, but our total goal for this campaign is $4 million, because we want to do some other things other than this building addition,” he said. “We need to do an expansion of our athletic all-sports complex. We also would like to put [500,000] to $700,000 in our endowment.”

Persons interested in making donations “can go to our Web site knoxvillecath olic.com, and there’s a way to donate on there that’s really easy,” he added. “There’s actually some pictures on our Web site of the groundbreaking and early construction, but it’s really taken off since then.”

 

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