As he readied to sign his name to a white steel beam at the site of the new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School under construction in Cranberry, Bishop David Zubik said he doesn’t see the upcoming decommission of the school’s location in Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill neighborhood as a closure.
Instead, he views it as giving birth to the new school.
“It’s really a dream come true,” he said.
Inviting construction workers to join him, Zubik was the first to sign his name on the ceremonial beam, which was then hoisted onto the school’s steel structure Friday as part of a “topping out” ceremony.
Crowned with a broom to represent a “clean sweep” with no construction accidents, as well as a potted tree to symbolize “topping out,” the beam was the last piece to be fitted on the school’s steel skeleton.
Now in its seventh month of construction, the school, located along 71 acres on Route 228 near Cranberry’s border with Seven Fields, is scheduled to be open in time for the 2014-15 school year.
Construction should be completed by January 2014, according to Michael J. Arnold, chief facilities officer for the Diocese. Students will begin attending the school in August 2014.
When the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced two years ago it would build a new school, Zubik said there were many who said it wouldn’t happen. After more than 70 years in Troy Hill, the Diocese decided to move the school's programs to Cranberry in response to population growth and shifts in the North Hills.
“The population growth here is incredible," Zubik said.
Zubik said there has been great interest in the school from prospective students. He added local Catholic elementary schools are "bursting at the seams" with students eager to continue to their Catholic education at the high school level.
“I think that says a great deal about how important Catholic education is,” he said.
The new North Catholic is the first high school the Diocese has opened since 1967.
When finished, the school will accommodate 1,000 students. For a Patch article on the building’s construction progress, click here.
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