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Written by Chris Mayhew for the Enquirer. Click here to see the original article that appeared online.

St. Henry District High School will spend $6 million to build the largest auditorium at any Diocese of Covington Catholic school.

A new 650-seat auditorium will be centerpiece of a construction project scheduled to start in 2018, according to a news release from St. Henry. Renovating class areas for an improved STEM (Science Engineering Technology and Math) program and a new outdoor campus grotto sanctuary are other parts of the project.

The auditorium and other projects are phase one of a new financial giving campaign called Building on Excellence, Guided by Faith.

This is the Catholic high school’s first expansion in more than 20 years. There are 560 students from 20 grade schools enrolled at St. Henry paying a $7,200 annual tuition. St. Henry is the largest co-ed school in the diocese. Enrollment has increased by 18 percent since the school won a 2012 National Blue Ribbon of educational excellence award.

Parishes served by the high school include St. Henry and St. Barbara in Erlanger and the Boone County parishes of All Saints, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mary Queen of Heaven, St. Paul, St. Timothy and Cristo Rey.School assemblies, lectures and community gatherings are other planned uses for a new auditorium that will be home of St. Henry’s drama department.

Classrooms will be built to better serve the school’s established Fine Arts department programs including band, visual arts, chorus, chamber choir, and drama.

“Our Fine Arts department engages more students each day than any other extracurricular activity on campus,” Principal David Otte said.

Otte went on to say he is excited to provide a space to match fine arts students’ creativity and dedication.

Former St. Henry parents Boone and Karen Riegler, who are now SHDHS grandparents, chair the Building on Excellence, Guided by Faith campaign.

The Rieglers stated in the news release they want to invest in the future of their children and in their faith.

“Like so many alumni and parents, we have a special place in our hearts for St. Henry District High School,” the Rieglers said.