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DePaul Cristo Rey High School undergoes $20.8 million renovation

Posted at 8:39 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 19:08:50-04

CINCINNATI -- A Clifton high school raised over $20 million over the last two years to fund a new gym, cafeteria and performing arts area.

DePaul Cristo Rey High School’s two-phase renovation project will transform the school, which is an old elementary school, into a large, high-tech space for high schoolers.

About 315 students got to see the first phase of renovations on their first day back to school Wednesday.

The college-preparatory school opened in 2011 to students who were underserved by other Cincinnati-area Catholic high schools, Sister Jeanna Bessette said.

"We felt like there were students out there who were being underserved by those high tuitions and the competitive nature of trying to get into those highest performing schools,” Bessette said.

The school’s curriculum is unique; students take classes 15 days a month and participate in a work study five days a month. The work-study program places students in a corporate office setting. The jobs are paid, and in turn, students are able to finance about half of their annual tuition.

Bessette said the school’s model allows her students to contribute their ideas and creativity as they’re learning.

“While other students in other high schools are looking for their locker and trying to figure out their combination, our students are figuring out to get in the right van to go to work, get to their job, find the right office to go into, find their supervisor, make that connection."

When renovations are complete in July 2020, the high school will have a new, three-story academic building.