Holy Cross High School is aiming to increase enrollment and upgrade its facilities in the course of the next five years.
The school on Dixie Highway announced a new strategic plan last month that calls for increasing the diversity of its student body and renovating the school, which currently uses noisy window units for air conditioning and a boiler for heat.
Work is expected to begin on the school upgrades “the minute students walk out the door in May 2016,” said Tim Weihe, the school president. “It’s an aggressive plan, but it’s doable.”
Before work can begin, Weihe said, the school must line up donors and build partnerships in the community, work that’s already begun.
The project calls for replacing outdated windows with energy-efficient ones, installing central heat and air conditioning and replacing ceilings around the campus.
“By focusing on this first, we’ll improve the learning environment and it will increase our operational efficiency,” Weihe said, noting that the school’s utility costs are likely to decrease after the renovations.
Holy Cross hopes the updated facility will make the school more appealing to all students. It aims to increase enrollment from its current 260 students to about 320, Weihe said.
He said the school would like to attract more minority students and to make the boy to girl ratio about 50/50. In the current school year that is just ending, Holy Cross is 60 percent male. The school has hired a new admissions staff person to help diversify the student body.
Weihe said that any growth will require making the school more affordable. So, Holy Cross is also aiming to offer more financial aid opportunities, he said.
While there will be no capital campaign to fund the updates, Weihe said, the school will be making an earnest effort to reach out to alumni to strengthen school-alumni relations. And the school is developing marketing materials to raise its profile in the broader community, he said.
“The plan is to actually get out into the community to let our community leaders know more about Holy Cross,” Weihe said. “It could be a local business, a local church, any organization. We want to let them know we’re their neighbor and here’s what we do. We want to be good neighbors.”