Nativity center topped in RSF

Ceremony held for new school site

Last week, Nativity Catholic School held a topping off ceremony for the new Holy Family Activity Center rising on its campus.

Currently, Nativity students attend school at the small campus on El Apajo Road, where orange blossoms between buildings perfume the air.

The 12,000-square-foot center will bring “much-needed” amenities to the small school of 165 students, including an athletic floor, multipurpose room, a stage with professional audio/visual and lighting, locker rooms and a science classroom, Principal Patricia Boortz said.

“It’s just going to open up a whole lot of possibilities for us, academically and athletically,” Boortz said. “It’s a wonderful addition to our church community as well.”

The $5.5 million project broke ground in December 2008 and should be completed this fall at the eight-year-old school.

The project is much anticipated and has been in the works for four years after being held up by a long delay in land-use approvals, Nativity School Advisory Board Chair Tom Delaney said.

He hopes the center will help “enhance and improve” the school’s curriculum.

The April 8 topping-off ceremony follows a tradition in the building industry--it marks when the last beam is placed at the top of the building.

Nativity also honored a Scandinavian tradition by placing a small tree on top of the building to represent growth and bring good luck.

The whole school watched from the courtyard as a crane hoisted up a pine tree and a piece of framing signed by students and parish members.

Monsignor Lawrence Purcell said the project is not just about making the school better. The Nativity community is also raising funds to establish scholarships for Catholic children to attend parish schools in inner city San Diego.