2410 S. 9th St. Lafayette, IN 47909 765.474.7500

VISION 2030 – A Vision for the Future of Our Catholic Schools



VISION 2030 – A Vision for the Future of Our Catholic Schools

Our local Catholic schools have been operating since the 1840’s, and they have not only been an important fixture in our community, they have been vitally important to its success. Our Catholic schools have served our students, parishes, and local community for over 160 years here in Lafayette, and they remain as important as ever to our family and parish life. They are also as important as ever to the preservation of our faith and in assisting parents to raise morally righteous children in our complex society. Pope Francis calls Catholic Education ‘One of the most important challenges of the Church.

Pope Francis reminds us in Evangelii Gaudium (2013):

We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data—all treated as being of equal importance—and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches crit­ical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values. (64)

St Ann School circa 1964The support of Catholic schools is the shared responsibility of our entire community (parents, family, parishes, alumni, and friends), and our schools have remained strong in large part due to the commitment from this community. Our Catholic schools could not exist or plan for the future without this stewardship in prayer, talent, and treasure. We are indeed blessed and grateful for this support.

In LCSS – A Promising Future, we informed our community of some ongoing planning for LCSS. We noted that

“our growth is expected to continue as the Church puts a renewed emphasis on the value of Catholic education, and more options than ever are offered to families to help pay the cost of tuition. With this growth comes both opportunity and challenge. To prepare for this opportunity, the LCSS Board of Trustees and Board of Directors, along with the Principals from all four of our schools, met for [two] full day[s] of retreat to outline the parameters of a new Master Plan for Growth for the Lafayette Catholic School System. This group of over 30 individuals met first on June 9th, 2014 [and again on January 16, 2015]….The group then evaluated local demographic data, parish data, and trends in both Catholic and public schools. We also discussed our current infrastructure and our many options for the growth.”

We conducted surveys of the community, and based upon our best analysis we believe that our schools could grow as much as 450 students in K-12 over the next 15 years if certain investments are made. The LCSS stakeholders set out to develop a long term vision for our schools that met the following criteria:

  • Flexibility: A flexible plan that can adapt to changing needs of the school system
  • Parish Identity: Maintain connection to parishes
  • Physical Infrastructure: Retire or update decaying infrastructure
  • Preschool: Invest in early childhood education and infrastructure
  • Ongoing Planning: Work with parish master planning efforts

VISION 2030

This effort has culminated in Vision 2030: A 15-year vision for physical facilities that accommodates the growth of up to 450 K-12 students and up to 300 Preschool and Daycare children.

Classroom Needs: $22,600,000

The Lafayette Catholic School System currently has approximately 61 classrooms in the buildings on the four campuses: St. Boniface, St. Lawrence, St. Mary and Central Catholic. It is estimated that 4 to 5 of those classrooms need to be permanently retired once alternative options are available. Moreover, an additional 5 to 6 classrooms have been identified as too small (less than 700 square feet) for modern classrooms and would likely need to be updated and renovated. Given the current inventory of classrooms, 45 to 49 new or renovated classrooms need to be added over the next 15 to 20 years, at an estimated cost of $22,600,000. The table below shows how these classrooms are broken down by grade:

Grade Current Inventory Viable New Total: Vision 2030
PreK/Daycare 4 0 20 20
K-6 28 24 20 44
7-12 31 31 9 40
Total 63 55 49 104

PreK/Daycare

One of the biggest investments comes from PreK/Daycare. The needs of the family have changed over the last 30 years, and most families now have two working parents. PreK/Daycare play such an important role in the modern Catholic family and are also vitally important to the health of our K-12 program. Analysis has also shown us that our larger preschool classes at St. Mary and St. Lawrence lead to larger Kindergarten classes. Since our schools maintain an over 90% retention rate (considered excellent) in our classes, it is vitally important for our Kindergarten classes to be of sufficient size. Over the next 5 to 7 years we would like to return our Kindergarten class sizes to 85 to 100 students, which is how large our classes used to be in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 9.43.54 AM (1)For these reasons, both LCSS and our parishes plan to invest significantly in PreK and Daycare over the next 15 years by adding 20 classrooms in a total of 5 locations. The goal is to increase our PreK/Daycare programs from approximately 65 children to over 300 children ages 3 to 5.

While the locations have not been established, it is believed that both St. Lawrence and St. Mary will continue their current operations and will be evaluating new facilities as part of their own master planning efforts. New locations will be ideally located on a parish campus. The table below shows predicted dates and estimated costs for such projects:

Project

Year

Classrooms

Estimated Cost

PreK/Daycare Location #1

2017

4

$1,500,000

PreK/Daycare Location #2

2019

4

$1,500,000

PreK/Daycare Location #3

2022

4

$1,500,000

PreK/Daycare Location #4

2026

4

$1,500,000

PreK/Daycare Location #5

2029

4

$1,500,000

Total

2030

20

$7,500,000

Kindergarten through 6th grade

Providing our Kindergarten classes start to approach 100 students, we will also need to make additional room for those classes as they matriculate up through our elementary schools. During this growth, we may need to first look at utilizing temporary classrooms until the growth is steady and confidence is established to make this investment. With the closing of St. Ann’s school in 1968, the area Catholic schools suffered in both enrollment and space. If our Catholic schools are going to once again grow back to similar levels, the Lafayette Catholic School System will need to consider both the expansion of existing K-6 infrastructure and the possibility of constructing a new building.Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 8.53.26 AM (1)

Since it is a primary goal to maintain a close connection between the schools and the parishes, it is not deemed advisable to ever consider dislocating grades K-3 from a parish. It is essential that the Sacraments be connected to the Parish, particularly First Communion and First Reconciliation. Therefore, if growth requires a new elementary building, it will either be at a location connected to a parish or will be for grades 4-6. The table below shows predicted dates and estimated costs for such projects:

Project

Year

Classrooms

Estimated Cost

Elementary School – Upgrades and Renovations

2017 to 2030

4

$2,275,000

New Elementary School – Grades 4-6

2028

12

$7,400,000

Total

2030

16

$9,675,000

Central Catholic – 7th through 12th grade

Central Catholic was constructed in 1957 and did not have any major renovations until 1999 when it added 5 classrooms and another gymnasium that currently houses the 7th and 8th-grade students. The main structure did not have any major renovations until 2006 when the Building Faith and Futures campaign updated mechanical infrastructure (HVAC, electrical, CC Library Reno - Final Exterior SCALED LOGOand windows) and added a new front foyer area and Chapel. During that effort, several other projects were identified to update the 60-year-old structure, including: replacing the outdoor cinder track and updating the outdoor athletic facilities; renovation of the Bishop Bennett library; expansion of the cafeteria and kitchen; and the expansion of the performing arts classrooms. In 2014, Central Catholic completed Phase II of the Building Faith and Futures effort with a $1.9 million dollar renovation of its outdoor athletic facilities. In order to continue the work outlined in the original Building Faith and Futures planning process and to accommodate the addition of approximately 150 students, Central Catholic needs to add capacity equivalent to 9 classrooms and continue to update its infrastructure. The table below shows predicted dates and estimated costs for such projects:

Project

Year

Classrooms

Estimated Cost

Library Renovation

2017

6 – 8

$1,350,000

Cafeteria & Kitchen Expansion

2019

0

$1,500,000

Performing Arts & Fine Arts Renovation

2021

0

$700,000

Training and Fitness Addition

2023

1

$1,000,000

Updates & Improvements

2016-2030

0

$875,000

Total

2030

9

$5,425,000

We recognize this vision is ambitious and bold. However, it is not without precedent. Our local history has shown since the mid-1800’s that it can rise to the occasion and make Scan 2substantial investments. As an example, in today’s dollars Central Catholic would be a nearly $20 Million dollar project alone. The community in 1957 was not afraid of this challenge – rather, they rose to the occasion and delivered.

Over the next 15 to 20 years, we need to once again meet this challenge and answer the call to Greatness. We need to answer Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s challenge to be

“bold in our thinking and daring in our actions as we look to the future. . . The goal is a system of strong, accessible, affordable Catholic schools, owned by every parish, supported by every Catholic, available to every child.”

To learn more about how you can help with Vision 2030 please email us at vision2030@lcss.org.


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