High school for underserved completes new campus
James Broadous II helps usher in a new permanent home for De La Salle North Catholic High School during a ceremony celebrating the completion of a renovation and construction at the former St. Charles Elementary School site, next door to St Charles Church near Northeast 42nd and Killingsworth. Broadous serves as the school’s vice principal for student life and boys basketball coach. PHOTO COURTESY ANDREA LONAS PHOTOGRAPHY
De La Salle North Catholic High School, a college-preparatory high school for underserved students and the most diverse private school in Oregon, has opened a permanent new campus alongside St. Charles Church in northeast Portland
The completion marks the beginning of a new chapter for the 20-year-old institution known for its unique and transformative education. The school is the first new Catholic high school campus in Portland in more than 50 years.
De La Salle North Catholic High School prepares urban students with limited educational opportunities for college by providing a rigorous, faith-based education emphasizing math, science and language arts. No one is turned away because of an inability to pay.
Now located near the southeast corner of Northeast 42nd Avenue and Killingsworth Street, the school is co-located with St. Charles Parish, which previously operated a Catholic grade school from 1950 to 1986. Since it opened in 2001, De La Salle North Catholic has rented its two past locations, most recently the Kenton building from Portland Public Schools.
The permanent new home provides stability, sustainability and a sense of belonging, school officials said.
“We began our search for a new home more than five years ago and it has been a roller coaster as we navigated through the search, the agreement with St. Charles, the design of the new campus, the fundraising for the new school and the global pandemic, said Oscar Leong, De La Salle North president.
Gabriella Quinto Alfaro, a 2016 De La Salle North graduate who now works as a business office associate, is one of four alumnae who currently works for the school.
“Being in the new school makes me want to be a freshman all over again! The new school is just so beautiful and exciting,” Alfaro said
The school completed a $26 million capital campaign, led by honorary co-chairs Mary and Tim Boyle, in two phases over 30 months. Phase one included $20.5 million in funding for the renovation of the academic wing, and new construction of the commons, courtyard and parking lot. Phase two raised $5.5 million needed for a gymnasium and additional campus costs.
The new campus accommodates more than 350 students, ensuring the school’s strong and transformative education will continue to impact a growing number of students’ lives long into the future. It also includes a private courtyard, new commons, state-of-the-art science labs, a specialized art classroom and a high school competition-sized gym. The science classrooms allow for both technology-based and hands-on labs to provide a greater variety of experiential learning in physics, biology and chemistry.
“We’re especially excited about the Michael Kelley Gymnasium, which provides a new, long-deserved home for our two-time state championship-winning boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball and volleyball teams, as they’ve never had one before,” said Leong.
The school welcomed 274 students on Sept. 7 while construction finished on the commons and gymnasium. The official ribbon cutting on the entire new campus was held on Friday, Oct. 22.
Photo courtesy Andrea Lonas Photography De La Salle North Catholic High School has opened for fall term in a new location near the corner of northeast 42nd and Killingsworth. It comes after completion of a $26 million capital campaign to renovate and construct the new campus next door to St. Charles Parish.