Portland, OR. Students at De La Salle North Catholic High School (DLSNC) (pictured above before COVID-19) are excited about having a new facility. Since the launch of its Capital Campaign in March of 2019, DLSNC has raised $20.5 million to construct a new and more permanent school campus in the Cully Neighborhood of North Portland. However, the additional $3.65 million needed for a new gymnasium has not been raised. So far, DLSNC has raised $900,000 for the gymnasium, but time is of the essence because leaders will face a one million dollar price increase and the project will be delayed if the remaining $2.75 million for the gym is not raised by an August 3rd deadline.
“It’s not just about our students, it [the gym] will be apart of the Cully neighborhood, a place for after school sports and renting out the facility for youth sports on the weekend,” says Ashleigh de Villiers, VP for Advancement at De La Salle North Catholic High School.
Opened in 2001, De La Salle North Catholic High School serves a racially diverse population of students in the Portland area who typically do not have access to an affordable college preparatory education. De La Salle is the most diverse private high school in Oregon, with 93% of the student body being students of color. It also maintains an income cap that ensures students from low-income families can attend. Students cannot attend La Salle if their family makes more than 75% of the area’s median income.
Each student works one day a week as a part of DLSNC’s Corporate Work Study, a program that partners with corporations, local businesses, and nonprofits to work with students one day a week. By working one day per week, each student earns half the cost of their tuition throughout the entire four years they attend. DLSNC maintains affordable tuition to ensure a quality education for underserved populations.
Currently, the school rents gym space for sports, but even without a proper on-campus gym, De La Salle’s men’s basketball team earned the 2018 and 2019 state championship title. The high school has made a total of six state appearances.
“The gym is special to us because our boys’ basketball team were the 2018 and 2019 state champions, and they did this without having a home gym,” says Ashleigh de Villiers.
After renting current elementary school building in Kenton from Portland Public Schools, DLSNC decided to pursue a more affordable and sustainable option. It has faced ever-increasing rent, with next year’s rental bill topping out at $480,000. After three years of searching, the school signed a new 50-year lease agreement co-locating with the Saint Charles Parish on 42nd and Killingsworth. The agreement includes two possible 25-year lease extensions which could result in a 100-year lease.
DLSNC hopes to have the new campus built by the Fall of 2021. It will include a visual arts center, science center, and welcoming campus, with the gymnasium being the final part of the facility. Construction is planned to begin at the end of July and will take 12 to 18 months. The new school campus will also allow the student population to increase from 280 to 350 students. Currently, 95% of graduating seniors are accepted to universities.
“To have a gym where we hang our banners and have our logo on the floor is something we really care about,” explains de Villiers,
From De La Salle North Catholic High School:
If you’re interested in donating to help build the new gym at De La Salle North Catholic High School, here’s a link: https://www.delasallenorth.org/apps/pages/donate
De La Salle North Catholic High School serves a racially diverse population of capable, motivated, and interested college-bound students from the Portland area who would not otherwise have access to a faith-based, rigorous college-preparatory education.
Here’s more information and some additional architectural renderings of De La Salle’s new school campus in North Portland:
NEW CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS
- State-of-the-Art Science Labs & Maker Space
- Visual Arts Center
- Indoor/Outdoor Commons Area
- Small, medium and large classrooms
- Commercial Kitchen
- High School Competition Gym and Weight Room
- Administration and Corporate Work Study Offices
- Guidance and College Counseling Center
- Academic Resource Center
- Shiels Obletz Johnsen Inc
- Bora Architects
- P&C Construction
- The Varga Group
- Stoel Rives
CAMPAIGN STEERING COMMITTEE
- Mary and Tim Boyle (Honorary Co-Chairs),
- Jackie Dunckley,
- Mark Ganz,
- Kelly Hale,
- Gay Jacobsen
- Cyndy Maletis,
- Patti O’Mara,
- Matt Powell,