Viatorians were among the first to get a behind the scenes look at progress being made on the new,

An artist’s rendering of the front entrance

permanent campus under construction for Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, in Waukegan.

Both Fr. John Milton, CSV, and Associate Jim Thomas were among invited guests to tour the new building and hear from President Preston Kendall about all the opportunities that await CRSM students in this new, expansive facility.

Associate Jim Thomas and President Preston Kendall

“We are standing on the threshold of something great,” Kendall said, “a chance for Cristo Rey St. Martin (CRSM) to take a quantum leap in the quality of education we bring to low-income youth from Waukegan and North Chicago.”

CRSM students were thrilled to get a glimpse of their new school

Kendall personally led the $20 million capital campaign needed in order to renovate half of the existing building so that the school can move out of its current, deteriorating campus and into its new campus.

“This property is our cornerstone,” Kendall adds.”This initial occupancy phase will get all of our students and staff under one roof with modern science labs and classroom facilities suited for our rigorous curriculum.”

Those words came as music to the ears of Fr. Milton, who is a retired physics professor from De Paul University and Saint Viator High School. Since retiring, he has served as a science consultant at Cristo Rey St. Martin, most recently helping to start its AP physics class.

Fr. John Milton develops physics experiments with Ms. Kumkum Bonnerjee at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep

“It’s impressive,” Fr. Milton said. “All of the science labs are in one wing and with the added space will allow them to offer AP chemistry and biology as well as AP physics.

“I encouraged all of the science teachers to stake out their new space,” he added, “and plan to have as much storage space as possible for all of their science equipment.”

Current plans are to move in during spring break in 2018, with the first day of classes to take place April 3, 2018.

“This kind of facility now will compliment the excellent performance of CRSM students,” Thomas says. “All Viatorians should be proud of the role they played in bringing this new facility to fruition.”

CRSM officials continue to dream big for their students. Future phases could allow for a gym and fitness space, dedicated prayer space, and additional classrooms for expanded enrollment and curriculum expansion, yet to date there is no set timetable.

Viatorians have been staunch supporters behind CRSM since the day it opened in 2004, when Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, served as president, and Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, served on its advisory board. Over the years, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, was among the founding faculty, while Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez, CSV, worked in admissions and Br. John Eustice, CSV, and Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, served as volunteer drivers to student work sites.