Classes Begin In Father Tolton Catholic High School

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BOONE COUNTY - Students may be using the gym and weight room as temporary classrooms, but school officially began Tuesday at the new Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School building.

The 65 Tolton High School students had been attending classes at Columbia College since August. Freshman Casey Glaude said she's excited to make the long-awaited switch to the building off U.S. 63, south of Columbia.

"It's nice to not have to walk across the Columbia College campus to get to our next class," said Glaude. "I'm loving the giant classrooms. Those are really nice, because I know some of the other classes were crammed into closets."

For now, classes are being held only in the building's completed east wing-- and that means some unusual learning spaces. Tuesday, students learned chemistry in the gym and discussed health on weight-lifting benches in the weight room. The west wing of the building is mostly complete, but the connecting hallway remains under construction. Principal Kristie Wolfe expects the full building to open within weeks.

Despite the temporarily strange learning environment, Wolfe said the new building offers several advantages.

"We love our new gymnasium, of course, our teams are really excited to get in here and start, winter sports kicked off yesterday so the kids love to play in here. We have state-of-the-art science labs and we're very excited about getting into those. We're a completely wireless campus...We're really excited to have 21st century learning taking place in a 21st century school."

The project cost 14 million dollars and is designed to hold up to 400 students.