St. Raymond kicks off expansion

St. Raymond High School for Boys is growing.

Thanks to a $125,000 grant from the Alumni Association of St. Raymond School, school officials are hoping to start an expansion project soon. Although school officials declined to comment about the total scope and cost of the project until all the funding has been arranged, the school plans to built a multi-use two-story facility outside the existing building.

“It’s been planned for a number of years now,” said Christopher Ellis, director of advancement. “For a long time now we’ve known that we should do this expansion.”

The building should be about 14,000-square-feet and will consist of an art studio, a state-of-the-art music room, a senior guidance center and two computer labs.

Work on the project began in August and should take about a year to complete, Ellis said.

The new facility will enhance the learning experience for nearly all the 740 students that attend the school.

The senior guidance center will provide information about applying and entering colleges, and the computer labs will be available to students through a variety of classes. The new art room will also be tailored to meet the needs of the classes and should get a lot of use, since all students need to take at least one arts elective course.

“The center will give space for seinors to do research on colleges and to take care of registration and admissions here at school as opposed to going home,” Ellis said. “It will be nice to have the arts classes in there too. They’ve been running the classes out of a standard class room for years.”

Currently school officials are looking to complete the fundraising, and are meeting with prominent alumni and communiy groups for donations.

The school wanted to kick off the project in 2010, because it is the perfect time to show off the school’s vitality, Ellis said.

“We thought it would be an appropriate time to move forward with the plans since we just had our 50th anniversary,” Ellis said. “The economy is picking up a little and we thought this would be a great opportuniy to show how the school is not only surviving, but thriving. We’re here to stay and we’ll continue to grow.”

The school began in September 1960 and has graduated more than 6,500 since then.

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