Pacelli Catholic Schools announced its “Pride in Our Past ... Faith in Our Future” capital campaign has reached $2.7 million of its $3.2 million goal. (Photo: John Hartman of Contemporary Photography)
Pacelli Catholic Schools announced its “Pride in Our Past ... Faith in Our Future” capital campaign has reached $2.7 million of its $3.2 million goal. (Photo: John Hartman of Contemporary Photography)

Pacelli Catholic Schools (PCS) recently announced its “Pride in Our Past ... Faith in Our Future” capital campaign has surpassed its first two milestone goals, bringing in more than $2.7 million in pledges and one-time gifts towards the campaigns’ total goal of $3.2 million.

The campaign is focused on two main goals, centered on growth and efficiency for the school system. The first goal is to upgrade buildings and expand programming at all schools, while the second is aimed at significantly increasing teacher and staff salaries, establishing a fund to support the growth of teacher salaries long-term.

“Our teachers view their jobs as a ministry, and it is,” said Gregg Hansel, director of education for Pacelli Catholic Schools. “As a matter of justice, we need to do a better job of compensating our highly qualified staff.”

Part of that plan includes realigning current building use for future growth and better serving their students.

“Our Early Childhood Center (ECC), located at St. Joseph’s, has no room to expand,” said Hansel. “One of the projects will be to move the ECC to the St. Stanislaus building, which will allow the center to grow significantly, filling the need for childcare in our community.”

Because the campaign solicitations began several months ago, there have already been projects completed at several buildings, and more will be done as funds are continually raised.

Those projects include renovations to classrooms, tuck pointing and a new roof at Pacelli Catholic Middle School and the re-location of the systems’ central offices to the high school building.

The most notable changes come in the reduction of locations to administer and maintain, a great cost savings, while allowing room for greater enrollment with the realignment of grades in each building.

“We have already vacated the former central office location and, with a change in phone vendors, we’ll see a significant savings in our annual operating budget,” said Hansel.

Moving the ECC to St. Stanislaus will result in vacating that building as well, turning it over to St. Joseph Parish, the buildings’ owners.

In addition, St. Stephen will house grades 4K-4, St. Bronislava will house grades 3K-4 and Pacelli Catholic Middle School will house grades 5-8. Pacelli Catholic High School will not be affected by the realignment of the childcare, elementary and middle school buildings.

The timeline for these projects has not yet been finalized, but the goal is to complete all of the moves in advance of the 2017-18 school year, so long as the funding is in place.

“We are blessed by the outpouring of support we’ve received from so many,” said Hansel, “But we still have a ways to go.”

Currently, there is a 50-percent matching donation available for new pledges and gifts, making it a great time to ensure the maximum impact of community gifts. The formal solicitation phase for the campaign will conclude in March, but donations will continue to be accepted throughout the coming months and years until the goal is met and projects completed.

For more information or to make a contribution, contact Hansel at 715-341-2445.