Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory is on the march to build and grow its campus in southeast Dallas. On Friday, September 15, more than 300 area notables gathered bright and early for the ribbon cutting of the brand new 32,000-square-foot Academic Center that was brought in under budget. Before the scissors snipped the ribbon, it was revealed that the campaign for the 37,000-square-foot Innovation Center was already underway with plans for a 2018 ground breaking. Here’s a report from the field:
Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory “welcomed home” students, families and donors, at a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of its new Academic Center on Friday, September 15.
With more than 350 in attendance, the ceremony began with a welcome by Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard. In his remarks, Woodard recognized the generosity of Cristo Rey’s many donors for making the 32,000-square-foot Academic Center a reality, especially the Winn Family Foundation, The Constantin Foundation and the Hamon Charitable Foundation. He also extended his heartfelt thanks to the Center’s Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows; as well as Frost Bank; the construction companies, Hill and Wilkinson, Marcer Construction and Perkins and Will; the School Sisters of Notre Dame; and the Cristo Rey board of trustees and staff.
Following, Cristo Rey Dallas Board of Trustees President Richard Joyner added his gratitude and shared that because of the community’s overwhelming support the $9.4 million Academic Center was fully funded and came in under budget.
For the 375 freshmen, sophomore and juniors attending Cristo Rey Dallas, the new Academic Center means 12 new classrooms, four science labs, teacher planning space, a TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) room, a Student Life commons and a Corporate Work Study Program suite.
Student Body President Gerard Cardenas perhaps summed up the excitement about the Center best in his remarks with, “Wow, look at this building!” And then added, “This building will enable us to become men and women of faith, purpose and service. This building will help us graduate ready to succeed in college and in life. Thank you.”
Woodard returned and directed the crowd’s attention to the open land behind them, which will be the site of the school’s next expansion project, a 37,000-square-foot Innovation Center with gym, cafeteria, fine arts and counseling. The new building, expected to break ground in 2018 will also be the permanent home of the expanded Corporate Work Study Program suite, which will include conference and training rooms.
He was then joined by Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, Joyner and many donors for the official ribbon cutting. Afterwards, the doors to the Academic Center were opened for a reception and tours.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees included Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows; Melinda Winn, Chris Winn and Alicia Winn of the Winn Family Foundation; Hilda Galvan of Jones Day; Scott Moore of PwC; Katie Robbins of Hoblitzelle Foundation; Laura and Jim Einspanier; Barbara and Jack Fraker; Mary and Mike Terry; Cheryl and Richard Joyner; Barbara and Jim Moroney; Kelly Roach of The Hamon Foundation and others.
Cristo Rey Dallas’ new Academic Center was designed by architects Perkins + Will with general contractor Hill and Wilkinson in the model of a cutting-edge corporate campus. The Academic Center offers students collaborative workspaces throughout—with movable desks, conference tables, and garage-door style walls that allow spaces to be instantly configured to meet the needs of students, faculty and families. Video monitors throughout the campus broadcast updates and information and can be connected to individual laptops to allow students to collaborate on group projects.
The LEED-certified building is home to the Winn Science Center, made possible through a lead gift by the Winn Family Foundation. The wing features state-of-the-art chemistry, biology and engineering classrooms and prep rooms.
Academic Center donors include: Anonymous, The Constantin Foundation, Hamon Charitable Foundation, Winn Family Foundation, Mary and Mike Terry, Anthony Family Foundation, The Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation, Hillcrest Foundation, Simmons Sisters Fund of The Dallas Foundation, The Catholic Foundation, Hoblitzelle Foundation, Lydia and Bill Addy, Jack Fraker, Suzy and Larry Gekiere, Beverly Goulet, Cheryl and Richard Joyner, The Kernodle and Madden Families, Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, The Patricia L. and William F. Miller Family Foundation, Barbara and James Moroney, Margaret and Casey Olson and PwC.
The 32-member Cristo Rey Network of schools is an innovative educational model that gives students a Catholic, college prep education while earning work experience in a corporate setting. Cristo Rey Dallas students earn more than 62 percent of their college prep high school tuition by fulfilling clerical and administrative roles in a wide range of departments such as accounting, human resources, finance, marketing, information technology, legal, records, mail, and office services.
For more information about Cristo Rey Dallas, visit cristoreydallas.org.
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron