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On Friday, October 14, students, donors, faculty members and friends gathered at Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep to break ground on the school’s multi-million-dollar educational facility just 14 months after opening school doors in Pleasant Grove. The day also included an announcement that Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows will chair the school’s $10-million capital campaign. 

Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard kicked off the event, addressing attendees and students, all wearing bright orange hard hats.

“Cristo Rey Dallas is a partnership with students, businesses and families that opens a way to college,” said Woodard. “This partnership has sparked transformation within our neighborhood, in the business community and in the lives of our students and families. By working with businesses such as AT&T, Hunt Oil, CBRE and others, we are now able to break ground on an Academic Center that will open these opportunities to twice as many students.”

Sister Dawn Achs of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Bishop Greg Kelly and Cristo Rey Dallas Board Chair Richard Joyner also reflected on the school’s impact before Sophomore Class President Gemma Peralta took the stage.

“My classmates and I are truly grateful to all of you for making this possible,” shared Peralta. “This facility, which will allow us more space and state-of-the-art classrooms, isn’t just a new building. It is an opportunity for us to achieve our dreams.”

Donors showing early leadership in making the Academic Center a reality include Mr. and Mrs. Jay Anthony, The Constantin Foundation, The Harold Simmons Foundation, The Hillcrest Foundation, The Hoblitzelle Foundation, The Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation, The Mike & Mary Terry Family Foundation and The Winn Family Foundation.

Cristo Rey Dallas Capital Campaign Chairs Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows also thanked attendees and students before inviting everyone to “toss a little dirt.”

Board members and donors posed with orange hard hats and bright orange shovels, then ceremonially scooped mounds of dirt as a rendering of the new facility, which will include classrooms, science labs and academic offices, was unveiled.

For more information on Cristo Rey Dallas, please visit

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