Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School began reconstruction on Monday, Sept. 9 at the school’s future site in Midtown, in the former office space for the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory joined Bill Garrett, President of Cristo Rey Atlanta and Bob FitzGerald, Board Chair for Cristo Rey Atlanta, to partake in the groundbreaking ceremony, by each taking a turn swinging a sledgehammer into the construction wall.
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014 with an inaugural freshman class of 125 students. Each year, another freshman class will be added until the school is at full enrollment of 500 students in the fall of 2018. The school is open to students of all denominations in Atlanta.
Cristo Rey Network schools primarily serve urban students in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with limited educational opportunities. The average household income for a family of four is $35,000 and 96 percent of the students within the Cristo Rey Network of schools are students of color. Students served by CRAJ will mirror these demographics.
A unique aspect of Cristo Rey Network schools is that all students participate in the school’s corporate work study program, where students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, etc., five days a month to help pay for their tuition. Almost 40 local corporations in Atlanta, including UPS, SunTrust Bank and most of the major law firms, have already shown their full support by committing to provide workplace experiences for future Cristo Rey students.
Some 100 supporters of the Cristo Rey model were present at the ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking.
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose, and service. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience, students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life.
The school is sponsored by the Jesuits of the Provinces of Maryland, New England and New York and enjoys the full support of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Archbishop Wilton D Gregory.