Solid foundation for expansion of Costa Catholic Academy

By: By Tom Dermody

CAPTION: School, parish, and community leaders turn the first spades of earth on a $2.1 million addition for Costa Catholic Academy in Galesburg. (More photos from the groundbreaking may be viewed on The Catholic Post’s Facebook page.)

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GALESBURG — A $2.1 million expansion project at Costa Catholic Academy here officially began Oct. 8 on a strong foundation of community support for Catholic education.

“What amazes me the most about this project is to look at the vast array of people who put it together,” said Mark Kleine, president of the building committee, during a joy-filled groundbreaking celebration on the school’s campus. The ceremonies blended gratitude for blessings of the past and excitement for the future.

The first new building project in more than 50 years at Costa will enhance opportunities for students in the fine arts and technology. To be located behind the existing facility at 2726 Costa Drive, it will house a technology room, music room, and a new cafeteria with a commercial kitchen. The cafeteria will also serve as a multi-purpose room for physical education classes.

When completed by next school year, it will make Costa a completely wireless technology facility while still maintaining computers and smart boards in the classrooms.

The project was made possible by a successful capital campaign titled, “Treasuring Our Past, Securing Our Future.”

“We pray for all who are and will be working on this site,” said Father William Miller, IC, before blessing the construction area with holy water.
The pastor of Corpus Christi and St. Patrick parishes in Galesburg as well as Sacred Heart in Abingdon also asked God’s blessing “on all who have made this day possible because of their vision, dedication, generosity, and determination.”

Adding to the festiveness of the afternoon ceremonies on a glorious fall day was music supplied by the Costa Symphonic Band and Jubilee Choir.
Steve Eisemann, principal, introduced speakers that included Galesburg Mayor John Pritchard; Mary Burgland, campaign co-chair; and Tom Fennelly, senior vice president of Russell Construction.

Catholic education in Galesburg dates back 135 years. Eisemann said it was fitting that the new addition is being built on the site of a former residence of the Christian Brothers — who were among the first religious educators at the former Costa High School — as well as a Costa preschool, “where so many of our children, mine included, received a solid foundation.”

Mayor Pritchard told the crowd that the entire community benefits from their investment in Galesburg and in Catholic education. “Education is the most important work we have to do as parents and as a community,” he said.

Burgland recalled her own days among 60 first-graders in Sister Marie Eugene’s class at the former St. Joseph’s Academy and called the continuing presence of Catholic education in the community “a gift from God.”

The day’s program acknowledged dozens of parish and school leaders who served on campaign and building committees. Joining Burgland as general chairs were Jim Kovac, Richard Kowalski, and Jill Marasa.

“All of us have laid the groundwork for the future of Costa Catholic Academy,” said building committee chair Kleine, “and I think that from a community standpoint and from a God-centered education that’s what we should all be very thankful for.”

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