On Wednesday, April 17, supporters of the Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School’s capital campaign, “Building on Faith, Family and Tradition,” turned out at the future site of center court in the nearly-completed gym at the main campus for a “Sign the Slab” event. Over 100 faculty, alumni, parents, and supporters gathered to sign their names and write prayers and messages of encouragement and congratulations on the foundation that will be the new home for Montgomery Catholic athletics.
Anne Ceasar, President of Montgomery Catholic, had a very personal reason to give thanks for this new building. “As a parent of three graduates of MCPS who had many remarkable experiences in the Father Pat Delahunty Gym, I am thrilled that our new facility will be the venue for future occasions for our students.”
Among those who came to sign the slab was Dean Delongchamp, the first Athletic Director to serve at Montgomery Catholic. During his tenure as AD in the early 1990s, he dreamed of a larger gym with more seating for fans to watch their teams. While he knew that the current construction was going to be an improvement, he was not prepared for what he experienced.
“I was stunned,” said Delongchamp. “I knew that we were building a gym, but I wasn’t expecting an entire fieldhouse equipped with offices, conference space, laundry, weight training, and rehabilitation facilities. It’s unbelievable what they’ve put together.”
“I’m so glad that we could show this off to our community,” said Aubrey Blackwell, head coach for both football and baseball. “This will be one of the best facilities in the state of Alabama and absolutely the premier facility in Montgomery. We’re looking forward to our students using all of the amenities we’re equipping.”
Also present was the Reverend Monsignor Charles Troncale, an ardent supporter of Catholic education who has seen tremendous growth at MCPS since the time when he worked there in the early 1970s.
“I congratulate the Catholic community of Montgomery on their efforts to make this seemingly impossible project a reality,” said Troncale about the construction. “It is through the sacrificial attitude of the supporters of Montgomery Catholic that this has been possible, and I look forward to the great things that will come from this facility.”
Lainie Cleghorn, a Montgomery Catholic alumna and parent of a graduate and current student, also spoke to the enthusiasm and commitment of the MCPS community.
“This project came to life much faster than any of us had ever imagined that it would,” said Cleghorn, who served on the strategic planning committee that worked on this building project. “Supporters of Montgomery Catholic recognized that the new gym and new performing arts facility are needs and not wants for this school, and they rallied together to make it happen.”
The capital campaign raised over $3.5 million dollars in just eleven months, allowing MCPS to look towards the future and realize the dream of a new 33,000 square foot gymnasium with stadium seating and capacity for over 800. The gym will have two regulation basketball courts, a weight room, concession area, offices, locker rooms, and conference rooms. The Montgomery community will find much comfort in knowing that the facility will be air conditioned—a luxury the current Fr. Pat Delahunty Gym, which was built in 1968, does not have.
Following the completion of the new gym, the Fr. Pat Delahunty Gym will be converted into a performing arts building, dedicated to elevating the entire MCPS performing arts program. This facility will be completely remodeled to create state-of-the-art band and choral/drama classrooms, practice rooms, office space, and storage for the award-winning band program and emerging choral and drama program. This will allow for students to be able to focus on all aspects of their practice by providing a vibrant and supportive environment for current and future students with an affinity for the performing arts. Also, the addition of a high school student lounge and meeting space facing the courtyard will give students a comfortable place to gather on campus.