New Catholic high school in over 40 years to be built in Oakland diocese

.- Livermore City Council approved establishment of the East Bay's first new Catholic high school in more than 40 years, reported Contra Costa Times.

Approval was passed Monday and plans have already been drawn up.

The Diocese of Oakland plans to build the school in phases and start classed in 2008. The school is designed to accommodate up to 1,600 students. It would include a chapel, performing and visual arts facilities, sports fields and 816 parking spaces.

The council approved a development agreement and conditional use permit for a 32-acre campus on 122 acres. The remaining 90 acres will be preserved as open space.

Parents and students attended the standing-room only city council meeting and burst into applause when the decision was announced.

A new Catholic high school in Livermore will be more convenient for Tri-Valley families, who are currently sending their children to schools at quite a distance from their homes. At the same time, the new school will relieve enrollment pressures on already packed schools that have been forced to turn kids away. High schools like Moreau, De La Salle and Carondelet have waiting lists, Sr. Barbara Bray, assistant superintendent for the diocese told the Contra Costa Times.

The diocese plans to launch its fund-raising campaign immediately and to begin construction in 2007.

In addition to the conventional Catholic school planned for Livermore, the diocese is considering a new Catholic high school in Oakland that would be modeled after Chicago's Jesuit-run Cristo Rey High. It combines job training and academics for students in low-income areas.

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