Bishop blesses athletic complex at Catholic High School

Bishop Barry C. Knestout celebrates Mass at Catholic High School, Virginia Beach, April 17. (Photo/Mike Le)

 Bishop Barry C. Knestout blessed the $1.8 million enhancement to the athletic complex at Catholic High School (CHS), Virginia Beach, on Wednesday, April 17. The project includes the 2,300 square-foot TowneBank Athletic Pavilion and an additional 3,000 square-foot outdoor plaza and patio space.

Bishop Knestout said, “Catholic schools form the whole person, helping students grow intellectually, physically, and spiritually.” The school’s athletic facilities will “provide opportunities to grow in communion with one another through teamwork and cooperation,” added the bishop.

The bishop also expressed joy at being able to celebrate Mass with the school community during the dedication ceremony. “I have visited the school and students many times over the last few years, but have rarely celebrated Mass with them,” he said.

“The Mass is the source and summit of our Christian life, so there are few better ways to support the students and the school than joining with them for Mass,” the bishop added.

The new athletic pavilion is designed to boost the school’s sense of community and improve its sports program, said the school’s principal, Peggy Boon. The groundbreaking took place last August.

The single-level structure is accessible from all the athletic fields, including those used for football, soccer, tennis, baseball and lacrosse.

Dedication ceremony for the school’s enhanced athletic complex. (Photo/Mike Le)

“It’s a real community-strengthening hub,” said Boon. “I already noticed that students and parents and families are already gathering there.” One team, for instance, recently had a pizza night at the complex.

Its multipurpose room can be used for team meetings, film sessions and optional classroom space. A brick plaza with outdoor seating adjacent to the building provides a gathering area and additional outdoor classroom space, which can be useful for certain lesson plans. For example, English teachers covering Shakespeare might want to use the amphitheater to drive home the experience of the audiences of the era, Boon explained.

The addition adds public restrooms that are compliant with the American Disabilities Act, so that athletes and spectators no longer have to make a long walk to the indoor facilities on the 32-acre campus. There is now an officials’ suite, complete with lockers, a bathroom and a shower. A girls’ locker room was also added. (A boys’ locker room already existed.) A new concession stand will enable the parent booster club to sell items to spectators at athletic events.

“The athletic complex supports our student athletes and their families, and it strengthens our Catholic community,” Boon explained. Boon said the plaza is “a very welcoming space” and will “strengthen friendships, community spirit and school spirit.”


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