Grand Island Central Catholic to add elementary classes in 2024

Local4 News at 5
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:48 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - For the first time in almost 50 years Grand Island will be home to a Catholic elementary school. Grand Island Central Catholic will be opening its elementary school in Fall 2024. It will be constructed as a add-on to the school’s current location on the northwest side of the school. A ground breaking is anticipated early next year and will take a little over a year to complete. GICC will be the first school in Grand Island with Pre-K through 12th grade in the same building.

“It’s definitely a need in our community and we discovered that by doing a feasibility study, where we went out and asked people’s opinions on what it would look like if were to build this elementary school; and found that over 90% of the community, from our respondents were very favorable about us going through with this process,” said Jordan Engle, Principal of Grand Island Central Catholic.

Engle added that about 200 kids are currently on the school’s wait list to attend whenever the school opens. Talks of this project becoming possible started in 2018 and stalled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but now the project has accelerated forward.

“We actually started our campaign, in the beginning of the summer this year. With the goal of raising $11 million, $9 million for construction, and $2 million endowed and help with financial aid and school operations,” Engle said. “We announced last Wednesday the beginning of our public faze of campaign and already we’ve had over $7 million in pledges for our campaign.”

The response of the community reaffirms and speaks to the support of adding a Catholic elementary school in the area. It will also give parents an extra choice when it comes to the type of education their child receives.

“You’re choices for elementary school are either to attend the public school district, which is great, and we have a single Lutheran education school,” Engle said. “So in terms of private education, right now we are incredibly limited and we want good choices. We want strong public schools. We want strong private schools and the people of Grand Island have kind of spoken in regard to the fact, that they want an additional choice.”

Grand Island Central Catholic’s goal is to have an elementary school program that speaks to the Catholic faith of the community.