Teachers and Students Move into New Catholic High School

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COLUMBIA - As construction crews put the finishing touches on Columbia's new Catholic high school on Thursday, anxious teachers were finally able to start moving into their new classrooms.

Principal Kristie Wolfe plans to open the doors of Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School on Tuesday. However, the first few weeks of class at the new school will only be held in the east wing while construction on the rest of the building wraps up.

Wolfe said the west wing of the building will be done very soon, but because the middle section of the building that connects the west side to the east side takes the longest amount of time, she can't open up the entire building to the students just yet.

She said they still need to paint and touch up the walls, add a few more decorations, and organize the classrooms. Cement was poured into the school's entrance just last week and flooring everywhere inside the school is almost complete. However, a mess of tools and handiwork lie in center of the school as workers divide and multitask to reach their deadline.

Nevertheless, Wolfe said she and her students are ready for the school to finally open its doors.

"We're just so excited to get into our space. We're doing fine in a temporary location. The teachers are teaching and the students are learning, but this new building is a part of what we had planned. We've been waiting for this day a long time," Wolfe said.

Currently, the 65 freshmen and sophomore students must walk from building to building on the Columbia College campus to attend their high school classes. Freshman Vica Eber said it makes her feel like a college student, but not necessarily in a good way.

"It's different because I'm not used to walking from building to building. I'm used to just walking down a hallway," said Eber. "It's also been really cold lately, so it'll be nice to be able to come back here."

After students transition to their classes in the east wing of the building, Wolfe said they should be able to access the rest of the school no later than a few weeks later.

The new high school is located at U.S. 63 and Gans Road.