The first major addition to the only Catholic high school in Butler County is almost done, just in time for classes to re-open under the challenges of the coronavirus.
Workers are finishing the interior work at Badin High School’s $2 million Student Development Center, which will open up two additional classes and provide news offices and student area for the Hamilton school’s 600 students.
The new 8,000 square feet of career and community service learning, student development and operations space has been two years in the making and Badin officials said the center will be “a big advantage for our whole school family.”
“This is a great addition and a great opportunity for all our students to have more space to come together as a community,” said Brian Pendergest, principal of the school.
The new center’s many offices and meeting areas are scheduled to be completed in time for classes opening later this month.
Badin freshmen will start on Aug. 19, seniors the morning of Aug. 20 with juniors starting that afternoon. Sophomores will report the morning of Aug 21.
Like all private and public schools in Ohio, Badin is preparing for unprecedented hurdles as it attempts to resume in-person classes during a global pandemic. And the first class bells of the new school year will also see all students and staff wearing protective masks per Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s most recent orders for all K-12 schools issued earlier this week.
As some area public schools announce their adoption of so-called “hybrid” scheduling – having only some students attend in-person classes certain days of the week to enhance the safety of social distancing – Badin is sticking with its traditional schedule.
“At this point, we plan to be in school, in person, five days a week,” said Dirk Allen, spokesman for Badin.
“Of course, we are developing hybrid plans in the event we cannot be in school every day so that our students will continue to receive an excellent education in any circumstance,” said Allen.
Though many public and private schools had previously announced back-to-school plans for this month, recent directives from state officials – and Ohio and local health officials – have forced most to alter their original plans.
“Obviously this is a fluid situation and we will take our cues from the various governing bodies ... the state of Ohio, the city of Hamilton Health Department, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and other organizations as necessary.”
“In the meantime, we are moving forward with the hopeful expectation,” he said.
Badin High School opened in the fall of 1966, the merger of all-boys Hamilton Catholic High School and all-girls Notre Dame High School.
The plans for the student development center were first announced in 2018.
Now the new structure – extending from the backside of the school – is a big part of the back-to-school buzz for Badin.
“This is the largest enhancement we’ve done since 2006 when we opened the Pfirman Family Activity Center. A 8,000 square-foot, $2 million complex is really a nice addition,” said Allen.
“And I think it will be the nerve center of Badin with the athletic office here, the campus minister, the department of Christian service as well as admissions and the counselors’ office,” he said.