Cristo Rey officials hope to reopen campus after Labor Day

Cristo Rey Baton Rouge High School students began the new school year on Monday at a temporary site in the Bon Carré Business Center as work continues on the former Redemptorist High School for the school’s permanent campus.

Cristo Rey Baton Rouge President Brian Moscona says the $3 million modular building campus is under construction and the work should last two to three weeks. He expects students to be back at the Redemptorist site shortly after Labor Day.

Earlier this summer, school officials had hoped students would be at the new campus for the first day of the school year. Students at Cristo Rey spend much of August training for internships.

“We were awaiting the FEMA funding to actually come through,” Moscona says. “We weren’t going to commit to spend that much money before we were assured FEMA would cover 90 percent.”

Cristo Rey initially opened in Redemptorist last summer before the August flood wiped out the campus. The school moved to Bon Carré Business Center on Florida Boulevard, where it has been ever since.

Delays with FEMA have set back the project, but Moscona says now that the federal agency has approved the project, federal dollars will cover 90% of the costs.

Cristo Rey is a unique Franciscan school that partners with local businesses for part of its curriculum. The number of local businesses partnering with the school has nearly doubled, Moscona says, from 17 last year to almost 30 this year. Students, most of them from low-income families, spend part of their school week as interns at the businesses.

Read a recent Business Report feature on Cristo Rey Baton Rouge’s corporate work study program.

—Sam Karlin

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