The following comes from an October 14 Press Enterprise article by Tom Sheridan:
As the Rev. Anthony Dao stepped to the altar early Friday to begin Mass at Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School, he scanned the packed house at the two-level campus theater.
“Sisters, very soon you may have to build two high schools,” said Dao, the pastor at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in Temecula.
He was alluding to the school’s expansion plans for a new Catholic high school – a project that is generating considerable buzz among families in the region.
Sister Ernestine Velarde, the school president, slowly shook her head about an hour later as that remark was recounted. Getting one new school off the ground is enough work for now, she said.
“We want to focus on quality,” Velarde said.
Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac High School is scheduled to open in September 2017 with freshmen only. Plans call for a 49,000-square-foot building that will accommodate 500 students on the existing kindergarten-grade 8 school campus in Temecula at the edge of Wine Country.
At present, the closest Catholic high schools are in Riverside and San Bernardino.
No shovels have hit the ground yet. Velarde said the construction process is in the permitting stage but is progressing nicely.
School officials still are working out the details for next year’s scheduled opening. There is currently space on campus to accommodate some high school classes, according to Velarde. If necessary, they can use the education center at St. Catherine.
Construction of the new building could take a few years, according to officials, who said one class will be added to the high school each year through 2020-21.