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Vincent Memorial to break ground on new building in May

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CALEXICO — After five years of fundraising, Vincent Memorial Catholic High School will break ground in May on a new building for the aging campus, the only Catholic high school in the Imperial Valley.

Bishop Robert W. McElroy will celebrate a Mass on May 28 at the school, just before the groundbreaking ceremony.

The campus serves 240 students from the Imperial and Mexicali valleys in facilities largely untouched since the school’s opening in 1966. The principal, Sister Lupita Hernández, a member of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, said the school will start construction on a new building in late May, and hopes to raise additional funds to renovate two existing buildings in 2020. In all, the project is to cost $3.7 million.

The new building will house eight classrooms, the chapel and a science lab. The building would replace mobile classrooms that arrived at the school nearly 20 years ago.

“We don’t have a science lab, so that will really benefit the students with new equipment, enabling hands-on [learning],” said Sister Hernández. “These classrooms are not going to be a luxury; they are a necessity.”

Sister Hernández said, if the school can raise $1 million between now and the end of the 2019-2020 school year, two of the original buildings can be renovated.

When that project is completed, the students would have better access to technology, especially the Internet connection, which “we lose most of time,” the principal said.

The proposed new chapel is important, she said, since it will literally give the students more space to adore Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

“As a Catholic school, one of the most important things is the chapel,” she said. “And we are happy that it is part of the project because we have adoration at least eight times a year and many [other] things. I think that the Lord deserves a better place than just a mobile classroom,” where the chapel is housed, she said.

The Parent-Teacher Group began to raise funds for the construction and renovation project in 2014. To donate, contact the office at (760) 357- 3461 or by e-mail at vmoffice@vmchs.com.

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