Hamilton city and school leaders praised Butler County’s only Catholic high school Wednesday for expanding its campus while touting the school’s long and positive impact on the region.
The ground-breaking event at Badin High School drew dozens of dignitaries and school supporters. And though the threat of rain moved the traditional, ceremonial shovel turning inside, speakers said the fast-growing school’s future is sunny bright.
The school’s $1.8 million addition of a 8,000-square-foot Student Development Center — which is scheduled to be opened in December — will only amplify “the Badin experience,” said Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller.
“I’ve had a chance to see the Badin experience working for the city of Hamilton. I see the Badin experience in those that invest in the city of Hamilton and there is a lot of investment going on now,” Moeller told the invited guests, which included city council members, the police chief and the superintendent of the Cincinnati Archdiocese Schools.
“Badin has been such an important part in our educational and economic landscape,” he said.
The school, which opened in 1966, has seen a historic enrollment jump in recent years.
A nearly 30 percent increase in the number of students since 2010 — now about 620 students — was one of the driving reasons behind the launching of a fund-raising campaign to add the student development center, expanding student commons’ space, campus ministry, classroom and offices for the school.
Badin Principal Brian Pendergest said, “this is an exciting time for us.”
“The Student Development Center will continue our commitment to enhance educational opportunities for our students and to enable them to do that through first-class facilities,” said Pendergest.
The new center will also allow two former classrooms — converted into office space — to return to instructional spaces.
And there are more changes coming, said Kelli Kurtz, Badin executive director of advancement.
“More than $18 million in campus and school improvements were identified” in the school’s recent strategic plan, said Kurtz.
Future plans include renovations and improvements in athletic facilities, fine arts facility upgrades and parking and traffic flow enhancements, she said.