San Juan Diego CHS will have a new facility this fall

By Catholic Spirit Staff

San Juan Diego Catholic High School (SJDCHS) in Austin turns 15 this year, and in the fall the school will have a brand-new school building.
SJDCHS offers students a unique college-preparatory education enriched by participation in a corporate internship program. The new facility will broaden the reach of the school’s mission and enhance the opportunity afforded to the school’s students. Construction on the new school began in August, which is located at the corner of First Street just south of Oltorf. The first phase of construction, slated for completion in October, will increase the school’s capacity to 250 students. 
About $8.7 million of the $10.4 million need for this phase has been raised thus far. After the first phase, an additional $4 million will need to be raised to finish out the school’s second floor and provide other amenities. The second phase construction will accommodate an even larger student body of 450 students.
Pam Jupe, school president of SJDCHS, said the new school is transforming the South Austin community. 
“With the growth south of the city, more families are hearing about us and our success stories,” she said. “Parents want to give their students this opportunity, and we need to be poised for growth as more families learn about us.” 
With a new facility, the school will be able to expand its corporate internship program, which is the cornerstone of the school’s mission. Every student in grades nine through 12 works in a corporate office five days per month. The corporate internship gives students hands-on experience in the workplace, in addition to the school’s academic coursework that readies them for college.
School staff remains optimistic about closing the funding gap for the new building. SJDCHS is proud to be debt-free, and the school recently received a $1 million donation for the Foresight Scholarship Endowment, bringing the total endowment to $1.5 million. Alan and Ginger Jones established the endowment to provide tuition assistance for students. 
Community partnerships are also strong. Support comes from companies such as Seton Healthcare Family and Dell, each of which sponsors multiple teams of student interns. Sibling, the team of multi-cultural experts within Austin-based advertising agency GSD&M, is working with Pow Design Studio to rebrand the school’s marketing efforts. 
Ultimately, the students provide the best testament to the school’s accomplishments, Jupe said.  
“One hundred percent of our graduates get accepted into four-year colleges, and that’s phenomenal,” she said. Those graduates are also going on to be rehired in career positions at the corporations where they interned during high school. “Our students’ success speaks for itself,” Jupe said. 
To learn more about the school, visit www.sjdchs.org, or plan to attend the annual Rose Gala on May 5 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.