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Carondelet President Bonnie Cotter said the new athletics complex should open in time for the start of the 2017-18 school year.
Carondelet breaks ground on new athletics complex
WALNUT CREEK — Carondelet High School broke ground Feb. 2 and has begun work on a state-of-the-art athletics complex at the site of the former ClubSport Valley Vista Tennis and Swim Club at 3737 Valley Vista Road, Walnut Creek.
The effort is part of a $38 million capital campaign to add athletics, expanded science and math and scholarship opportunities at the 800-student school.
Just weeks after receiving city approval of its plans, the Concord girls' school is converting the former tennis and swim club into an athletics complex that will be home to seven sports, including tennis, soccer, lacrosse, softball, swimming, diving and water polo.
"Today is the beginning of a new era for our school," said Carondelet President Bonnie Cotter. "Our girls finally will have facilities that match their amazing drive, spirit and talents and which will help them learn, excel and flourish in today's world." The school is on track to have this new facility open in time for the start of the 2017-18 school year.
Walnut Creek Mayor Rich Carlston congratulated Carondelet for what he said will be "an outstanding, first class facility."
"I commend Carondelet for taking that step for doing what I think is necessary and important for our student-athletes, to put them on equal footing and to recognize the importance of physical competition and athletics in regard to building and developing character," Carlston said.
Carondelet alumna Mary Ann Grubb, '90, a Walnut Creek police officer, said she is proud to have been a student, teacher and coach at the school. "The Carondelet family is made better due to the fabric of the character of its benefactors," she said. "As a result of your work, women's athletics will remain central in the development of our youth."
Immediately after the groundbreaking, benefactor Lisa Hofmann Morgan publicly announced that The Hofmann Family Foundation was pledging $15 million to Carondelet — half of which will support need-based financial scholarships for students; half which will support the construction of a new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math center.
"This is an incredible gift and an incredible opportunity for our school," Cotter said. "This gift paves the way for us to complete our Athletics Complex and take on two other important priorities for the school — need-based student aid, and STEM education for women."
"This really is a historic occasion for my family, my daughters and the Carondelet community at large. It is my hope that our family's philanthropy will inspire others to do more, be more and imagine more for all the young women here at Carondelet and in our community," said Morgan, whose five daughters graduated from Carondelet.
The multimillion-dollar gift will allow Carondelet to advance its plans to build a high-tech STEAM Center that will enable the school to continue innovating its curriculum and preparing young women for careers in these fields. This gift will also permanently endow a scholarship fund to help make a Catholic education available to more families that would otherwise not be able to afford it.
"This is the largest capital campaign in the school's 51-year history" said Sheila Gilchrist, Carondelet Campaign Director and Walnut Creek resident. "Our Carondelet community is enthusiastically embracing the opportunity this gift and campaign presents to take Carondelet to an unprecedented level of excellence in the coming years."
Carondelet, opened in 1965 at 1133 Winton Drive, Concord, across from the all-boys De La Salle High School, has been seeking additional land for its athletic teams for some time. The Concord campus, on about 19 acres of land, is one of the smallest parcels of land of any top-quality high school in the Bay Area. It has no outdoor athletic fields or facilities on its campus, despite the fact that 65 percent of its student body participates in sports.
Carondelet's tennis team was already playing at the 6.5-acre ClubSport Valley Vista site. Neighbors and club members objected to the former owner's earlier plan to sell the athletics club to build housing in 2015.
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