Changes Coming To Utica’s Notre Dame Junior-Senior High School
There are some massive changes coming to Utica's Notre Dame Junior-Senior High School.
During a presentation held Thursday afternoon in the school's gymnasium, several announcements were made by newly appointed Notre Dame Board President Jim Joseph.
Joseph, who formerly served as the President and CEO of Oneida Ltd., is currently the Executive in Residence at LeMoyne for the college's Madden School of Business. He says the added work will bring him closer to his goal of enhancing Catholic education.
The first change involves the formation of a new board, creating its own separate entity from the Syracuse Diocese. The move is accompanied by a new management team.
Plans were also announced to build a new elementary wing and multipurpose facility on the current Burrstone Road site, at a cost of $10 million. The money is being split into two pots of money, with $8 million being used for the construction of the two buildings and the other $2 million used for the establishment of an endowment to provide scholarships for students.
Notre Dame's principal, Sister Anna Mae Collins, says a new building is needed.
"It would cost more to renovate than to build new," Collins said. "And, this way it brings everybody together on one campus. There will be a separate entrance for the elementary school. They won't be coming in at the same time as the high school, but it puts everyone on the same campus."
A $4 million matching donation was given by the Good News Foundation, leaving the school to raise the other $6 million. Presented by the group's Executive Director and President, Michael Buckley, the grant has certain benchmarks that must be met in order for the funds to be released. Sister Collins says she hopes to have shovels in the ground within the next two to three years.
Finally, the current building being used by the school is now under a 99 year lease, with the Syracuse Diocese collecting one dollar a year from the property. Signed by Bishop Robert Cunningham during the announcement, the property is now under local control.
Last year, Notre Dame boasted a 100 percent graduation rate, with 98 percent of those students attending college. Graduating students also received a total of more than $7 million in scholarships and grants.