By EllieAna Hale
Holy Cross School on Quincy Avenue plans to break ground this summer on the construction of a community center that will include a multifaceted facility for school and community use.
The community center’s construction is funded by the Bright Futures Fund’s Shine Brightly Campaign, an organization that, according to the Bright Futures website, “strives to challenge and encourage students in Kansas City to discover their full potential while developing a personal relationship with Christ.”
The new facilities within the community center will include an expanded Early Childhood Development Center, community meeting and social services space, a multi-purpose athletic facility, and an outdoor playground.
“We purchased two houses right next to the school and had those demolished,” said Shelley Henn, Holy Cross principal. “We’re supposed to break ground possibly this summer.”
The community center is a long-awaited renovation project for Holy Cross, and there are hopes that this will be an opportunity to bring community-centered organizations together. The project has been in the works for over two years, and the school is very excited to get started this summer.
“We were a little bit delayed just because of the cost of construction, and then materials haven’t been able to get here, everything that’s been going on as collateral damage from the pandemic,” Henn said. “It will have a gym and four preschool rooms, a kitchen, and it is a space that we plan on sharing with the com-munity and partnerships.”
The community center project was originally created and kickstarted by previous principal Barb Deane and has been a growing project that the school is ready to complete for the betterment of the student body at Holy Cross.
“Right now students currently use the gym that is not adequate for hosting games and there’s no seating for parents,” Henn said. “It’s just not a good place for kids.
“In order for our kids to be more involved, we want to be able to host games and have our own teams,” Henn said.
The community center is planned to be a space for all students to be able to take part in activities that will allow them to be more involved with not only the school but the community as well. Additionally, the space is planned to be used for preschool services and events.
“We also wanted a gym for all the kids and we had done a study in this area, and determined that around our school is basically a preschool desert,” Henn said. “So there was a need for preschool. So that’s when the previous principal came up with the idea of sharing the space and having a preschool and a nice facility where kids can participate.”
The plan to work with community organizations is an additional driving factor that will allow this project to truly be a large part of the Northeast community’s future.
“We want, also, to partner with other people to come in and use our space,” Henn said. “Mattie Rhodes for example, we worked a lot with them. They could do their Soccer for Success program or whatever they want to do in our facility.”
This growing project will bring an exciting new addition for all students in the Northeast area and allow for the cultivation of success for many.
“The Holy Spirit has inspired the hearts and minds of so many of us for this ex-citing project,” said Jeremy Lillig, Bright Futures Executive Director. “When we began, we had no idea that the Spirit was leading us to this wonderful day.”
More information on Holy Cross can be found at www.hcskcmo.org.