UNION, Ky. – For the first time in more than 50 years, Northern Kentucky may see a new Catholic school.
Bishop Roger Foys recently approved a capital campaign to finance the construction of a new school at Saint Timothy Parish in Union, Ky.
“This is really good news for the Diocese of Covington and for the families at St. Timothy Parish,” said Bishop Foys. “It’s nothing short of remarkable in this day and age that a new school is established and built.”
If constructed, Saint Timothy Catholic School will be the first new school built since Immaculate Heart of Mary in Burlington was constructed in 1962.
David Theus, a parishioner at Saint Timothy’s who helped head the effort to create a capital campaign, said the community discussed the need for an additional Catholic school in central Boone County for more than a decade.
The parish officially formed a committee to justify the campaign in September 2012.
Parishioners are now being asked to raise half of the estimated $8 to $13 million it will cost to build a school in cash, and collect pledges with verifiable future funding for the rest.
“We can break ground as quick as we have 50 percent total in hand,” Theus said.
The St. Timothy School hopes to have two classrooms per grade with a capacity for about 450 students. Currently, 160 students from the Union area attend Saint Paul School in Florence, Ky. and 600 students participate in St. Timothy’s religious education programs.
The parish's capital campaign committee researched and created a 42-page feasibility study justifying the need for the school.
Part of that study revealed Catholics in Boone County are under-represented in population to private schools ratio by a factor of two in comparison to neighboring counties.
“Of the 25 Catholic schools across the diocese, Boone has four; Kenton has 12 and Campbell has nine,” Theus said.
In the last decade, U.S. Census data shows Boone County saw a 37 percent increase in elementary school aged children, compared to single percentage digit growth in Kenton and Campbell.
The capital campaign will be executed in three phases. The first will begin in the home of parishioners identified as leaders at St. Timothy’s. The second will be donor dinners at Triple Crown Country Club and the Florentine. The third will be a pledge campaign presented to the full parish at the end of November.
“Hopefully by that amount we’ll be able to gauge where we are,” Theus said.
After the holidays, Theus said the committee will seek donations from the greater community to meet funding goals. Naming opportunities for part of the new school will be available to donors as well.
Theus said he felt confident the school will be built and hopes the future school will serve its community in the same fashion and longevity as Saint Paul School has in Florence for over 125 years.
“It’s been a grass roots movement at the parish level,” he said. “It’s completely satisfying and humbling. I am a cradle Catholic. How fantastic will it be to say when I am dead and gone that St. Tim’s school has been serving its community over 100 years.”