School planning

School staff work with an architect. In front is Tracy Friesen, assistant principal of St. Mary's Central High School, back left, Gerald Vetter, president of Light of Christ Catholic Schools, Reed Ruggles, principal of St. Mary's High School and Peter Lacey, architect.

PROVIDED

Light of Christ Catholic Schools, a private Catholic school system in Bismarck, is continuing to see increased enrollment growth, according to enrollment numbers released Thursday.

After years of growth at the elementary level, St. Mary’s Central High School saw the greatest jump in students, with 332 students this year compared to 315 last year, according to Gerald Vetter, president of Light of Christ Catholic Schools.

This year, sixth-graders moved into St. Mary's Middle School Academy as part of an effort to create more space for pre-K-5 students at Saint Anne, Cathedral and St. Mary’s elementary schools. There are 273 students at the Middle School Academy.

The new school year marked continued enrollment momentum for Light of Christ Catholic Schools, which has grown 25 percent over the past five years. Last year was the first year the schools added four portable classrooms, and this year they're up to eight total portable classrooms for the system.

Light of Christ Catholic Schools is planning to build a new high school on 48 acres of land north of 57th Avenue and Washington Street. The school is expected to open in 2019. At that time, the old high school building will become home to the Middle School Academy.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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