Father Martin Linebach, vicar general for the Archdiocese of Louisville, blessed and dedicated a new 30,000 square-foot space on the campus of St. Xavier High School, 1609 Poplar Level Road, Oct. 13.
Father Linebach told the students in attendance that the new space will be more than “socially useful,” that the center’s “hallowed halls” will be a place where they will continue on their journey to becoming saints.
The Sangalli Interactive Learning Center is named in honor of Dr. Perry E. Sangalli, who served as St. Xavier’s president from 2001 to 2019. Sangalli died in May of 2019; he had served at St. Xavier for 38 years.
The new center, which faces Poplar Level Road, includes seven classrooms, a gathering space and a lecture hall.
Father Linebach said the new center is one of “seeking, learning and teaching what is true.” It will serve not only as a hub of activity and fellowship but as a place where the students will “give witness to Christ,” he said.
Speaking directly to the students, Father Linebach said, “The church needs you desperately, the world needs you desperately and the community in Louisville needs you desperately. … Work like crazy to make a contribution to all those places. It’s the reason we are here tonight.”
Mike Littell, who serves as St. Xavier’s vice president for advancement, said the Sangalli center is student-centered.
“It was designed with student collaboration in mind and it’s already exceeded our expectations,” he said. “The students are already enjoying it for downtime before classes and for hunkering down to work on a project.”
Father Linebach also blessed the Brother Callahan, C.F.X., Media Center, which was renovated and now houses a support center for students with learning differences.
Thirty percent of the student body has a diagnosed learning difference, said school President Paul Colistra during the dedication ceremony. The learning support center is staffed with three individuals to assist students.
Littell said the school is committed to creating “good quality space” dedicated to supporting students with learning differences. He noted that many don’t think of St. Xavier as the school for a student with learning differences.
“They think they can’t come to St. X if they have a learning difference” but that’s not the case, he said.
The newly completed spaces cost $7 million. The project is part of a $51 million initiative called the X Effect Campaign, launched in November 2019.
In addition to the renovation and building project, the campaign also aims to expand need-based tuition assistance. Littel said $44 million dollars have been designated for scholarships.
“We want to make this school available to any family who wants their son here. We’ll do our very best to make that happen,” he said.
The campaign has received more than $49 million in gifts and pledges according to school leaders.