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Helias Catholic launches Spirit of Excellence campaign to complete campus


Posted Date: 02/01/2024

Helias Catholic launches Spirit of Excellence campaign to complete campus

Helias Catholic High School today announced the launch of its Spirit of Excellence capital campaign, a transformative initiative to complete the school’s campus.

The project, which will complete Helias Catholic’s campus master plan, will construct a new performing arts center and on-campus baseball and softball complex, as well as expand the existing Rackers Fieldhouse.

“Now is the time to fulfill these promises made to our community to complete our campus and strengthen our school’s ability to provide an excellent Catholic education that inspires students’ development in mind, body and spirit,” said Ron Vossen, President of Helias Catholic and a 45-year veteran educator at the school.

“Helias Catholic is blessed with world-class facilities and the boundless generosity of our community that continues to make them possible,” said Peter Lyskowski, who is the Spirit of Excellence Committee chair, a 1995 Helias Catholic graduate, and parent of two Crusaders. “We have an opportunity now to create a new home for excellence, a new communion of faith, right here in the heart of Jefferson City.”

The Spirit of Excellence campaign advances three key components of Helias Catholic’s campus master plan.

1. Performing Arts Center

A new performing arts center connected to the east side of the current school building will house an auditorium that seats up to 1,000 with academic and performance spaces for Helias Catholic’s instrumental and vocal music, dance, and theater programs. The performing arts center — which will include theater scene, prop and costume areas and a visitor lobby — will be able to accommodate the entire student body and will be available for community use, including by students at Helias Catholic’s local partner elementary schools.

“The Helias Catholic community has long recognized the opportunity to develop our school’s tradition of excellence in the arts by nurturing and showcasing these programs in a performing arts center on our own campus,” Vossen said.

2. Baseball and Softball Complex

A baseball and softball complex to be constructed southeast of the school building will have the capacity to host up to 1,000 spectators. With standard amenities including concessions, restrooms and a press box, the new facility will further strengthen opportunities to build community on campus while eliminating the need for students to travel to the west end of Jefferson City for baseball and softball games and practices.

“Bringing home our football, soccer, tennis, and track and field programs with the Crusader Athletic Complex six years ago — at the same time we added our Science Center, larger chapel, and other improvements to the school building — marked a huge step in our campus development,” Vossen said. “Now it’s time to bring home our baseball and softball student-athletes alongside our student performers.”

3. Fieldhouse Expansion

Added space in the existing James L. Rackers Fieldhouse will allow for needed updates to athletic and strength and conditioning facilities, which will serve all of Helias Catholic’s student-athletes as well as students in physical education classes safely and effectively.

Onward Together

“I applaud Helias Catholic on the strong progress that has been made toward realizing its ambitious master campus plan. With each completed project, the Helias community has truly enriched the student experience in many different ways,” said Dr. Erin Vader, Superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Jefferson City. “As we embark on this final stage of the plan, let us all once again unite in the spirit of excellence, generosity and faith. Together, we can build a legacy that will strengthen Helias Catholic for generations to come.”

Completing this final phase of the campus master plan is a roughly $30 million investment in the future of Helias Catholic and our community. Combined with contributions from the 2015 Rooted in Faith, Building on Excellence campaign and additional funds pledged toward the project, the Spirit of Excellence campaign seeks to raise a total of $14 million between new donations and generous committed support from The Foundation for the Benefit of Helias Catholic High School
up to $7 million.

"Through our collective generosity and unwavering faith, may we realize this exciting vision for the future of Helias Catholic, giving our students a space that is inspired by the spirit of excellence — fostering personal growth, encouraging creativity and nurturing spirituality,” said the Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight, Bishop of Jefferson City. “May our response to this campaign be a testament to our values and a sign of our commitment to shaping the future leaders of our community.”

“I invite our entire community and all members of the Crusader family — alumni; friends; and families of students past, present and future — to partner with us in this effort to complete our campus,” Vossen said. “Every contribution and show of support helps ensure the Helias Catholic ‘spirit of excellence’ for future generations of Crusaders as our community moves onward together.”

For more information and to support the Spirit of Excellence campaign, please visit www.heliascatholic.com/spiritofexcellence.

Helias Catholic High School, founded in 1956 on the traditions of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the De La Salle Christian Brothers and with the support of local Catholic parishes, serves about 700 students in grades 9-12 from throughout Central Missouri. It is one of three high schools under the direction of the Diocese of Jefferson City.