By: Michele Tjin

Saint Francis High School eagerly awaits the completion of its newest facility, the Innovation Center and Dining Commons, which will be a hub of student creativity and collaboration. The project hit a major milestone in February when the community came together to sign the final steel beams of the construction.

This building is the first construction project to emerge from the school’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. The goal of this multi-year, $100 million campaign is to ensure that Saint Francis students and educators have the tools and resources they need to make a transformative impact. The campaign, called Light the Way: Advancing Saint Francis High School, raises funds for modern facilities, education excellence and tuition assistance endowment.

As a visible sign of the school community coming together, students, educators and supporters of the campaign signed their names on the final beams to be installed on the Innovation Center and Dining Commons — a visual reminder of the legacy they leave upon the Saint Francis community and the world. Special guests who also took part in the commemoration ceremony included Br. Michael Winslow, C.S.C., Br. Thomas Dziekan, C.S.C., Br. Donald Blauvelt, C.S.C., all three representatives of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the order that founded Saint Francis and is also a supporter of this campaign. Bishop Oscar Cantú, too, was present for the ceremony, and blessed the building site and the construction workers.

The Innovation Center and Dining Commons, which will house the math and science departments, a blackbox theater, a maker space, as well as flexible space for meetings and performances, signifies more than just updated spaces on the Saint Francis campus. There is excitement that comes from the unknown, the innovation and the emotional connections yet to come, says Saint Francis High School President Jason Curtis.

“The new facilities will push us to be more, to enhance our holistic view of Holy Cross education,” he says. “We can’t imagine all the opportunities that will take place in our facilities, but they will become an integral part of who we are.”

Construction for the Innovation Center is projected to be completed by December 2022, and the Dining Commons will follow 14 months later.