Work starts on new $37M Cristo Rey Catholic high school campus in Tioga

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A rendering of the new campus planned for Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School in the city's Tioga neighborhood, as seen from its interior courtyard.

Crews have begun work on a new 100,000-square-foot academic building complex on seven acres in the Tioga neighborhood to house students of the Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School.

School leaders and city officials including Mayor Kenney were scheduled to attend a ceremonial groundbreaking at the 17th Street and Allegheny Avenue site Tuesday morning.

Cristo Rey, a private Catholic high school for low-income students, combines work-study and academics. It now operates in a 55,000-square foot classroom building that it leases from Our Lady of Hope on North Broad Street, south of Somerville Avenue, on the church’s grounds.

The new $37-million campus, which incorporates a more-than-century-old former tricycle factory at the development site, will allow the school to expand from 490 to 600 students, school founder and president John McConnell said in an interview.

McConnell said the new campus should be up and running by the start of 2019.

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