Mobile cuisine, open house, a momentous moment for CRSM

Dining on good eats under a white tent, about 100 guests raised their glasses to celebrate a momentous moment for Cristo Rey St. Martin (CRSM) before taking tours of what will become the new home for students, staff and faculty next spring. The once-abandoned K-Mart is being transformed into a state-of-the art educational facility.

With food trucks parked curbside, board members and long-time benefactors got a behind-the-scenes look at the progress being made on the building at 3106 Belvidere Road. Plans call for CRSM to move in during spring break and be ready for classes on April 3, 2018. The July event was the first of several open houses Cristo Rey will hold to give supporters and community members a “sneak peek” of the new school.

“We are standing on the threshold of something great,” said Preston Kendall, president of CRSM. “This building provides a chance for Cristo Rey St. Martin to take a quantum leap in the quality of education we bring to low-income youth from Waukegan and North Chicago.”

The $20 million Initial Occupancy Phase includes:

• An initial build-out of half the building, roughly 53,000 square feet, to house 21 classrooms, a cafeteria, a library commons area, as well as administrative office space
• Among the classrooms will be three science labs to support the biology, chemistry and physics curriculum
• A 21st Century educational environment that supports the school’s college preparatory focus of the curriculum

“This property is our cornerstone,” Kendall said, “We call our plan the ‘Cornerstone Campaign’ after Psalm 118: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.’ 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.”

We have a camera set up to track our construction progress, and you are welcome to follow the progress on our website.

Future phases could allow for a gym and fitness space, dedicated prayer space, and additional classrooms for expanded enrollment and curriculum expansion, yet to date there is no set timetable.