Catholic schools break ground

Published 7:08 pm Thursday, October 4, 2018

Vicksburg Catholic Schools officials and representatives from the Diocese of Jackson gathered on a hill overlooking St. Francis Xavier Elementary Thursday to break ground for an early learning center to serve children from infant to age 3.

The center is expected to open in 2019.

“This is a great day for us; a day that has been long anticipated,” said Dr. Buddy Strickland, St. Aloysius principal. “Catholic education has been a part of the educational fabric of Vicksburg for 158 years.

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“For over 20 years, the advisory council, Catholic educators and others have discussed the need of an early learning component as a part of our mission,” he said.

Strickland said the discussions became action with the donation of the lot by Sam and Sherry Scott, who bought the lot with the intention of giving it to Vicksburg Catholic Schools, and commended the school’s advisory council for following through on the plan.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. commended the project, saying he intended to have the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approve a donation to the center.

Cathy Cook, superintendent of Catholic Education for the Diocese, called the ceremony “a great day for Vicksburg and a great day for Catholic education in Mississippi. Today, we stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us, those priests, nuns and brothers who paved the way.”

Cook added the opening of the center will make Vicksburg Catholic Schools, “The only Catholic School and possibly the only school in Mississippi that will cater for, nurture and educate children from infancy all the way through 12ht grade within one unified school.”

Pablo Diaz, executive director of the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce, said VCS “answered the need for the quality of life that we need to create more jobs and investment into Vicksburg from the point of view of the community. This is very fitting at a time when Vicksburg is pushing Excel by 5 to improve early childhood education.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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