Jordan Catholic, Rock Island, breaks ground for big addition

ROCK ISLAND — With expressions of gratitude to God and to all who are supporting the project, Jordan Catholic School here broke ground last Friday for a $2.6 million school addition and renovation.

“Today, we are opening a new chapter in the quality of education for the young people of this area,” said Mike Daly, principal, before giving the go-ahead for representatives of each grade level to turn the first shovels of dirt outside the elementary school building at 2901 24th St.

The scene was a rainbow of colors under a bright blue May sky as each class wore matching t-shirts of different hues. The shirts helped the students and faculty stand out as they took to neighboring streets following the ceremonies for a “Walk-a-Thon” that raised $15,281 for tuition assistance for the next school year.

Among the dignitaries at the groundbreaking ceremonies were four area pastors. In announcing those whose gifts to the “Shaping the Future” campaign qualified them for naming rights for rooms in the new facility, Father R. Michael Schaab — pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Rock Island — asked those attending to keep all donors as well as construction workers in their prayers.

Father Greg Jozefiak, pastor of St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart parishes in Rock Island, blessed the building site. Father Anthony Ego of St. Ambrose Parish, Milan, and Father Stephen Engelbrecht of St. Patrick’s Parish offered opening and closing prayers.

Also taking part were Vern Wegerer and Bob and Marilyn Noe, general
chairs of the project.

More than $1.8 million of the project’s $2.6 million goal has been raised, and Bob Noe called the groundbreaking “a milestone in our campaign.” He asked supporters to focus on the “three C’s” of children, church, and community as the drive moves forward.

Construction is expected to begin after Memorial Day on four new middle school classrooms; computer technology, engineering and science labs; new music and art rooms; renovation of the former kindergarten for an expanded library; and a multi-purpose room for early childhood PE and sports practice. Completion is expected by January.

A house just north of the school was demolished on April 25 to make way
One of the most anticipated benefits of the project is to unify the campus by bringing the seventh- and eight-graders back from the school’s St. Ambrose campus in Milan.

Mike Mihm, a member of the parent committee, compared the impact of the project to when Farrell Hall and gym was built in 1987, adding he is “thrilled to help raise funds for this project.”

“I believe that a project of this magnitude is proof of the strong commitment and loyalty to Jordan Catholic School by the entire community,” added Daly.

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