COLUMBIA—Cardinal Newman School now has an official site for construction of a new and larger facility.
On Oct. 29, the school closed on the purchase of 49.12 acres from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The property is near Alpine Road in Richland County and is close to Interstates 77 and 20.
“It has been a long process, but obviously our entire community is joyful over this because they have been waiting a long time,” said Jacqualine Kasprowski, principal.
“It is a very big step, a step that tells everyone in the community and Columbia that Cardinal Newman is serious about this, and serious about moving forward.
We know there’s a great need for the kind of solid, faith-based academic education that we provide, and this is all going to make it possible for us to provide it to even more students,” she said.
Kasprowski said Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone officially approved the purchase.
Sister Julia Hutchison, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Charleston, said the closing is the result of a lot of work on the part of Kasprowski and other members of the Cardinal Newman community.
“The acquisition of property for a new campus in a beautiful new location, enabling more Columbia area students to take full advantage of Catholic education, is a significant event in the proud history of Catholic education in Columbia and the diocese,” Sister Julia said.
Cardinal Newman had been considering the property since spring 2008. The closing ends a long search for a new location, which started in September 2007, when plans were originally announced to move the school to a site off Farrow Road. That plan changed after parents and others in the school community expressed concerns about the property’s suitability and safety.
The new site is close to growing communities in northeast Columbia, and is only a few miles from St. John Neumann elementary school.
Members of the Cardinal Newman community said they outgrew the current school at 4701 Forest Drive, where it has been since 1961.
Cardinal Newman started as a Catholic girl’s school in 1858. It has more than 400 students enrolled in grades 7-12.
Kasprowski said a steering committee is working on a site plan and proposed design for the new buildings. Plans call for a self-contained campus that would include expanded space for academic, spiritual and athletic activities.
She said a capital campaign is already underway to raise money to build the new school. The committee was initially given an estimate that $25 million would be needed for the property, engineering, architecture and construction of the new school, but that figure might now be lower because of the decline in the economy.