Ground broken for new North Catholic High School


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About two dozen of "God's co-workers" gathered in Cranberry this afternoon to break ground for what will become Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School.

The new school, which will replace the 73-year-old North Catholic on Pittsburgh's North Side, has been planned for more than eight years. The school will serve about 1,000 students in grades 9 through 12. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

"When we look to the interests of our neighbors and to serve them, we are God's co-workers," Bishop David A. Zubik told project organizers, supporters and friends at the blessing and groundbreaking ceremony.

The school is named for Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Zubik's predecessor as head of the Pittsburgh Diocese. The $71 million project will be built on a hilltop site on the south side of Mars Crider Road.

"We want to be where the people are to serve them," Bishop Zubik said in answer to a question about why the school is moving north into Butler County. Many North Hills communities, and especially Cranberry, have seen large populations increases for several decades.

Participating in the 30-minute ceremony was Lillia Smyers, 14, of Ross, who is completing eighth grade at St. Sebastian School. She plans to enroll in North Catholic this fall and will be among the first students to graduate from the new school when it relocates in 2014.

"It will be a great experience to be part of a new school and meet so many new people," she said after the ceremony.

While the building will be in a new location, it will bring to Cranberry decades of traditions and Catholic values taught by the Marianist priests and brothers who have staffed it, school President Frank Orga said after the ceremony.

The program included prayers, a Bible reading from the St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians and the blessing of the site with holy water.

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Len Barcousky: lbarcousky@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1159.


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