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Five Years After Tornado, Construction To Start On New Catholic High School

Diocese of Springfield
A drawing depicts the planned Pope Francis High School that is to be built at the location of the former Springfield Cathedral High School destroyed by the June 1, 2011 tornado. The new school is slated to open for the 2018-19 school year.

Construction is to begin next month on a new regional Catholic high school in western Massachusetts.

Officials have announced a groundbreaking ceremony will take place on September 18th for the new Pope Francis High School in Springfield.

The school is the result of the merger of Holyoke Catholic High School and Cathedral High School.       

The location is the former site of Cathedral that was wrecked by a tornado five years ago.

Paul Gagliarducci is the project director.

"We are excited about the possibilities and potential of bringing Pope Francis High School to reality in many many ways," he said earlier this year.

The new high school building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.