The Viatorians’ newest school, Cristo Rey St. Viator Las Vegas College Prep, took another step in becoming reality.

Fr. Thomas von Behren, second from left, celebrates signing with Bentar Development, with (L-R) Jay Barrett, consultant; Chi Chi Bengochea, general contractor, and Perry Eiman, owner’s representative.

Late last month, Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, president of the school, signed a contract with Bentar Development to be the general contractor for the project. Just this week, Bentar officials posted a sign on the property signaling that work has begun.

According to Fr. von Behren, work crews have begun to prepare the land for construction and a formal groundbreaking ceremony is planned for September.

Fr. von Behren and his staff have been making progress behind the scenes as well. Currently, they have 30 Las Vegas area business partners signed up who are willing to hire Cristo Rey students one day a week in order to help them afford their tuition.

A rendering of Cristo Rey St. Viator Las Vegas, opening fall 2019

Cristo Rey’s innovative work study program offers students a platform for workplace learning through being immersed in a professional setting and making life changing connections. It really is the school that works.

In launching the new school, Viatorians join a network of 32 Cristo Rey schools across the country, making it the largest network of high schools that serve low income students. Cristo Rey St. Viator is one of four new schools in development.

Viatorians learned of the Cristo Rey model through their early sponsorship of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, which opened in 2004. They continue to endorse the Waukegan school and remain committed to the Cristo Rey mission, of educating young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose and service.

“Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience,” Fr. von Behren says, “students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life.”