ESCANABA — Holy Name Catholic School announced a $10.7 million capital campaign to re-establish a high school education program. The high school closed in 1971.
Amber Hartman with the Holy Name High School Planning Committee said a feasibility study by a Marquette firm showed a high school program would be viable at Holy Name.
“After many months of hard work we are excited to announce that now is the time to kickoff our Holy Name Catholic High School capital campaign to make this dream a reality,” Hartman said.
The move has the support of the Diocese of Marquette. They have committed $100,000 to start the capital campaign.
Hartman said it would be done in two phases. The first $6.5 million phase would re-open the high school in two years.
“We anticipate meeting this Phase One goal and re-opening Holy Name Catholic High School in the fall of 2021 with both 9th and 10th grades, adding one more grade each year after,” said Hartman.
The $4.2 million Phase Two goal would allow the construction of a new addition for 150 students. It would include a new entrance, offices, seven classrooms and additional parking.
Hartman says along with a regular education, extracurricular activities will include performing and visual arts, music, STEM clubs and athletics.
Information on the capital campaign is available at nowisthetimehnhs.com.
Holy Name Principal Joe Carlson said the Escanaba school is growing. At a time that public school populations are declining, Holy Name’ s student population is up 80 students and Carlson expects another 20 students next year.
“We finished last year with 304 students. We are currently at 333 students and next year, I think we will about 350 students in the school which is a growth over 100 students in the last eight years at Holy Name.” he said.
Once the high school re-opens, Carlson expects families to relocate to Escanaba to enroll there. They are also making plans to house students from other parts of the U.P. and to carpool others.
Carlson said he knows the establishment of a new catholic high school is a concern for other school districts but says they have a good relationship and will partner on various programming.
Natalie Williams will be one of the first students at the new Holy Name Catholic High School. She is currently a seventh grade student at Holy Name.
She said she likes to be able to talk openly about her faith while at school.
“What I think is so important about re-opening Holy Name Catholic High School is that I do not want my Catholic education to end in eighth grade,” Williams said. “I want to continue my journey with Jesus. I want to be close with him all week long. I want to be able to learn about my faith along with my other studies.”
She said during the announcement of the new high school yesterday that the seventh graders are excited about being in the first graduating class at the school.