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The St. Henry District High School (SHDHS) “Building on Excellence, Guided by Faith” expansion project is officially underway after a very successful July 24 groundbreaking event.

The atmosphere at SHDHS was buzzing with excitement throughout the morning as the long awaited project officially got underway. Even Mother Nature seemed excited as the sun shined bright throughout the hour long event. Close to 100 Crusaders and Crusader supporters were in attendance to celebrate the groundbreaking for the school’s first major building project in more than 20 years.

The ceremony began with prayers and many offerings of well deserved appreciation to everyone who helped make the project possible, including the Bishop of the Diocese of Covington, the Most Reverend Roger J. Foys, SHDHS Principal, David Otte, Advancement Director, Beckie Middendorf, Campaign Co-Chairs, Boone and Karen Riegler, committee members, and donors.

The biggest donors to date, Mr. & Mrs. Ralph and Irma Drees, were given special recognition for their generous leadership gift of $750,000. The school’s new 650 seat auditorium will be named “The Drees Homes Auditorium” in honor of their family’s generosity. During their remarks, Boone and Karen Riegler thanked the Drees for recognizing the importance of this project, not only for the school, but for the entire community and the future of  education. “Thank you for stepping up and breathing New life into this campaign, “ said Karen Riegler. “ speak for the entire Crusader Community when I say that we are honored that the school’s new 650 seat auditorium will be named the ‘Drees Homes Auditorium’ in recognition of your family’s generous support.”

Mr. David Otte also recognized the project’s original architect, Mr. Andrew Piaskowy, of PCA Architecture, PSC. After completing the initial design, Mr. Piaskowy was forced to step back from the project due to health reasons and passed the project onto his associate, Mr. Jim Kaiser. “In recognition of Andrew’s vision and guidance in the design of this project, the plaza just off of the new auditorium will be known as Piaskowy Plaza,” said Mr. Otte. Mr. Piaskowy was both surprised and deeply touched by the recognition.

Mr. Otte then announced that, thanks to a very generous anonymous donor, every dollar raised from this point forward would be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $500,000.

The ceremony concluded with the Most Reverend Roger J. Foys speaking about the project and its importance, before blessing the grounds and moving a ceremonial shovel of dirt.

The 43,000+ square foot, $7.8 million project, which is scheduled for completion before the start of the 2019-2020 school year, will include:

*Virgin Mary Grotto

*650 Seat Multi-Purpose Auditorium

*3,000 Sq. Ft. Lobby / Alumni Gallery


*Biology / Life Science Lab

*(5) Additional General Purpose Classrooms

*Enlarged Student Media Center

*(4) Fine Arts Classrooms

*Black Box Theater / Drama Classroom

*Art Gallery

*Scene Shop / Studio

*Guidance Suite / Meeting Space

*Assistant Principal Office / Meeting Space

*Advancement Suite / Meeting Space

*Faculty Work Area

*Student Print Center

*Outdoor Plaza

*Box Office

*Auditorium Concession

*Multiple Storage Areas

For more information about the “Building on Excellence, Guided by Faith” campaign, or to make a donation, please visit  Thank you in advance for your support and your prayers. Go CRU!