For the first time in more than 50 years, the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has opened a new high school, and it’s located in Lee’s Summit.
Hundreds of people arrived at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School on a sunny Friday morning for a blessing and dedication ceremony, marking the official opening of the new school.
The high school, located at 2901 N.W. Lee’s Summit Road, is expected to welcome nearly 300 students to its campus later this month. A school spokesman said Friday that 293 students have registered so far for the 2017-18 school year.
The school was built on an 80-acre farm property near the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport and straddles the border between Lee’s Summit and Kansas City.
St. Michael is for students in grades nine through 12, and will be serving families from Jackson County and Cass County, school officials said. Students come from Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Independence, south Kansas City as well as Raymore, Belton and Harrisonville.
“For the love of God and salvation of souls,” Bishop James V. Johnston told the crowd Friday that St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School was built, leading Friday’s ceremony with an opening prayer shortly followed by the rite of blessing.
Dan Peters, superintendent, and Father Richard Rocha, president of the new school, also spoke during Friday’s ceremony. Rocha acknowledged the city of Lee’s Summit, new school staff, contractors, donors, legacy alumni and supporters of St. Michael.
The new high school project was in part supported by private donors, and has been in the works since it broke ground in May 2014. The school construction is a $32 million project.
Many students enrolled at St. Michael include students who attended Archbishop O’Hara High School in south Kansas City, which closed earlier this year due to declining enrollment.
The two-story building features more than 137,000-square-feet with 24 classrooms, media labs, offices, cafeteria and a massive gymnasium.
St. Michael will have the capacity for about 550 students, but the diocese expects to expand the school to house up to 750 students. School officials said in February that part of the expansion would include sports fields, a cross-country track that would circle the property, and an underground tunnel that would lead to a stadium.
The first day of school for sophomores, juniors and seniors is scheduled for Aug. 15, followed by the first day for all grades Aug. 16. A back-to-school night is scheduled at the end of this month, according to the school calendar.
For more information on St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School, visit smacatholic.org.