“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”
We are standing on the threshold of something great – a chance for Cristo Rey St. Martin (CRSM) to take a quantum leap in the quality of education we bring to low-income youth from Waukegan and North Chicago. Since 2011, Cristo Rey’s combined progress in increasing enrollment, increasing the number of paying jobs in our Corporate Work Study Program, and increasing income from development efforts has now put the school on stable financial footing.
CRSM leads the Cristo Rey Network in several key academic rigor metrics:
- Retention of students from freshman to senior year at 86% for the Class of 2017
- College completion for the CRSM Class of 2013 stands at 58%
- For the sixth consecutive year, CRSM was named one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools by The Washington Post
However, we are limited in our ability to sustain this level of rigor in our current, outdated campus environment. Conditions of the leased facility we occupy are subpar and deteriorating rapidly, challenging our continuing efforts to promote excellence and high expectations in our students.
We have acquired a property at 3106 Belvidere Rd. in Waukegan that will serve as our permanent home. In many ways, this property was “the stone the builders rejected” as it has been sitting vacant for over 5 years. This property is our “cornerstone.” We have raised over $20 million to date in order to renovate half of the existing building structure so that we can move out of our current campus and into a more secure and stable home. This initial occupancy phase will get all of our students and staff under one roof with modern science labs and classroom facilities suited for our rigorous curriculum. Our planned move-in date for this initial occupancy phase is April 2018. Track our construction progress here.
However, more needs to be done. We have dreams of expanding our curriculum to include additional electives and fine arts programming. We have hopes that one day our sports teams will have their own gym and fields on which to play, and proper fitness facilities in order to teach physical education. And we pray for a dedicated chapel for worship space to compliment our already vibrant campus ministry program. We cannot accomplish all of this without the generosity of benefactors who will help us realize these dreams.
To learn more about our initial occupancy and the plans for the future beyond that phase, contact Kristen Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-710-1574.