In the wake of an act of arson last summer that left part of Salpointe Catholic High School in ruins, the institution is now rising from the ashes with a construction project called ‘Rise Above.’ KGUN 9’s Bri Pacelli provides an update on the rebuilding process and the school’s efforts to turn devastation into positive change.

Construction is underway at Salpointe Catholic High School, where the school is adding a second story to the building that fell victim to an arson fire in 2022. The new floor will be dedicated to the school’s innovative wellness program, marking a significant step forward in the recovery process.

President of Salpointe Catholic High School, Kaye Sullivan, expressed the school’s commitment to overcoming the challenges posed by the fire. “We are rising above,” Sullivan declared, emphasizing the resilience and determination of the Salpointe community.

More than a year has passed since the English wing of Salpointe was engulfed in flames, causing significant damage. Sullivan described the incident as “terribly devastating,” but the school has turned the adversity into an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Assistant Principal of Counseling and Wellness, Mike Urbanski, highlighted the school’s approach to transforming the aftermath of the fire into something positive. “We used the devastation of the fire as a way of making something really great,” Urbanski said.

The new building will not only include additional classrooms but also feature a dedicated space for the school’s wellness program. Urbanski explained, “We wanted to make sure that we were serving our kids in all areas of the six dimensions of wellness.”

Within the wellness room, students will find facilities such as a meditation room, a kitchen, and various activities designed to promote well-being and personal development.

Funding such an extensive project is a challenge, but Salpointe Catholic High School successfully secured the necessary funds through community support. President Kaye Sullivan expressed gratitude for the generosity of donors, stating, “We went out to our community, and we were able to raise significant dollars in order to make this a reality.”

A combination of insurance proceeds and donations totaling $7.7 million has allowed the school to embark on this ambitious project. Sullivan acknowledged the diverse range of contributions, remarking, “We got donations from five dollars to over $1 million for this particular program.”

With the financial backing in place, Salpointe Catholic High School aims to welcome students back to the new building in January 2025, marking a triumphant return after the challenges faced in the aftermath of the arson attack.