Hamilton’s Catholic school adds AC to gym, begins $2M expansion work

There is now a big difference at Badin High School, but nobody can see it.

And there’s another bigger change coming – costing $2 million and starting to take shape this week – that will eventually catch everyone’s eye.

Construction work on the Hamilton Catholic school’s new Student Development Center started this week, and the addition to Badin’s campus will help the school handle its growing enrollment, officials said.

Inside the gym, there is now a change no one can see but everyone can feel. For the first time in the school’s more than half century existence, the Badin gym is now air conditioned thanks to a $175,000 new system.

Dirk Allen, spokesman for the school, touted the additional center now being built on the back of the school as the project the students, staff and alumni are most excited about it.

“This is a very exciting improvement and it will enhance the opportunities for our students and that’s obviously what our primary objective is,” Allen said.

The project was originally scheduled to be done by last December but school officials had to adjust their fund-raising strategies to line up money for the project.

The 8,000-square-feet center, which is scheduled to open in early April, will include a student commons, the guidance department and the Hamilton Community Foundation College and Career Center, Allen said.

Also planned for the space are “various offices that will allow us to re-capture classroom space, including relocating the Campus Ministry and Christian Service offices, plus admissions, marketing, alumni and athletic offices,” he said.

The space is needed, officials said.

“School population has increased from 450 in 2010 to 620 this coming year,” he said, adding last school year students from 46 different junior highs and 29 area zip codes.

Badin is the only Catholic high school in Butler County. Classes start Aug. 14 for freshmen. Sophomores, juniors and seniors report on the 15th.

“As we recruit potential students, we cast a wide net — students come from all over and become part of the Badin family,” Allen said.

And the Badin family will be cooler this school year.

“We do a lot of things in Mulcahey Gym, including our all-school (Catholic) masses, so the comfort-level in the gym will be consistent with the rest of the school. The gym has never been air conditioned since the school opened in 1966,” he said.

“All who come into the gym will appreciate this improvement.”

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