MYRTLE BEACH — A new Catholic high school is being planned for the Grand Strand and is expected to open in 2016, according to a news release from the Catholic Diocese of Charleston.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic High School will be built on 50 acres of land on Carolina Forest Boulevard. The idea for the school has been discussed since 2000, when a consulting group studied the region and found a need for a Catholic high school in Horry County.
“St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic High School will be authentically Catholic, academically challenging and fulfill an urgent need,” said the Most Rev. Robert Guglielmone, bishop of Charleston. “This project has the full support of our diocese, and I look forward to the opening of Seton Catholic High School in the future.”
Horry County Catholic parishes and the diocese are now moving forward with a capital campaign to fund the project, with a goal to raise a minimum of $3.5 million to cover the costs of construction of the 15,400-square-foot phase 1 building; furniture; fixtures; equipment; administrative, fundraising, architectural and engineering fees; and an operational subsidy for the first three years.
“Dependent upon reaching fundraising benchmarks, we hope to open the new school in the fall of 2016 with a ninth-grade class. Each year, an additional class and grade will be added until the full four-year program is attained,” said Father James Leblanc, school president and pastor of St. Andrew Catholic Church.
The mission of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic High School will be to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which its students will be educated both in character and in conscience, to be steadfast in their faith, dedicated to social responsibility and committed to developing all their God-given talents.
“The school will boast a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum, which will follow the guidelines established by the Catholic Diocese of Charleston and the S.C. Department of Education,” said Sister Pamela Smith, secretary of education. “Moreover, it will concentrate on the students’ Christian faith development, so that they may live Christ’s command to love one another and become responsible members of both church and society.”
Seton Catholic High School will serve all Grand Strand students, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Its Catholic feeder schools are St. Andrew, St. Michael and Holy Trinity Catholic Schools.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the school patron saint, is the founder of the Sisters of Charity. She started the first parochial school in the United States, in Baltimore, Md., in 1808. In 1975, she became the first American-born citizen to be canonized. Her feast day is Jan. 4.
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.