QUINCY Notre Dame High School students returning for the start of the 2018-19 school year Monday were able to see firsthand some of the benefits of the largest fundraising campaign in school history.
The Quincy Notre Dame Foundation announced last week that it had raised more than $6.4 million in a campaign launched in April 2016, or more than $400,000 above the initial target. Kurt Stuckman, the foundation's executive director, called it "a transformational moment" in the school's history.
About $2.5 million of that fundraising total went to build a 5,300-square-foot east courtyard addition, renovate restrooms and electrical power supply units, upgrade HVAC systems, and build an athletic concourse.
Planning for the new east wing began five years ago, part of a long-range plan to update QND's 1950s-era facilities at 10th and Jackson. It houses two science labs, an expanded physical science classroom, two other classrooms, a new principal's office and two offices for guidance counselors. The science labs were last updated in the early 1990s.
Other funds raised through the Campaign for Quincy Notre Dame will assist with the school's annual fund drive, other donor-advised projects not necessarily tied to the capital campaign, and the addition of at least $1 million to the school's endowment.
"It's a blessing, above all else, to be involved in a community where we have so many people who believe in the mission of the school, believe in the people facilitating the mission and want to be part of it," QND Principal Mark McDowell said.
That widespread support was clear.
The campaign received support from more than 75 volunteers and generated a total of 417 gifts, with 263 coming from QND alumni. The single largest gift was $500,000, the average silent phase gift was $27,000, and the average public phase gift was $1,000.
The school's last addition was built in 2006. Named the Willer Wing in honor of longtime QND supporters the late Bernie and Isabelle Willer, the $1.2 million project added two new classrooms, a multipurpose room, a boardroom, cafeteria extension and restrooms, and transferred the weight room to inside the main school building.
In addition, the athletic complex on the west side of the campus has undergone dramatic change in recent years. While the school not that long ago had to play many of its athletic events at facilities scattered across town, modern facilities for football, soccer, baseball and softball now are on its campus.
One of the final pieces, the 3,500-square-foot athletic concourse, opened at the start of last school year. It replaced an existing concession stand with dual ticket booths and concession stands, storage for athletic equipment and a training room.
People who helped make this campaign a success, as well as those whose financial donations are making an enhanced educational experience possible for students, are to be commended.
Most important, Quincy Notre Dame has a strong history of providing quality private education, and thanks to this fundraising effort, an even brighter and more secure future.