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Column: Aquinas groundbreaking set for Aug. 18

(Any opinion contained in this column is that of its author.)

Featured photo by Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

Aquinas High School’s “The Building on Tradition” Campaign has reached more than 80% of its $12 million goal and a groundbreaking is set for Aug. 18.

The project was announced in the spring and will transform the Aquinas campus with updates to the athletic complex. It will also serve to grow the school’s endowment. Of the target amount, $8.6 million will go to a new baseball complex, updating the football stadium, building a practice field and an athletic training room. The remaining $3.4 million will go to the school’s endowment.

“The significance of this project is much greater than sports fields. The new athletic complex will provide us with a safe, beautiful facility that meets our needs and better represents who we are as a school community,” said Aquinas Principal Maureen Lewis in a July email to supporters. “This project will attract new families and demonstrate our commitment to Catholic education.”

Ninety-four Aquinas families have already donated more than $6.3 million toward the building portion of the project with a total of more than $9.5 million raised. The new complex is expected to open in the fall 2024.

Before the upgrades begin, the Fightin’ Irish will start the year by traveling to play the Academy of Richmond County in a scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 11.

This is one of the oldest rivalries in Augusta football history that dates back to 1956. Sixty-seven years ago, Boy’s Catholic High, which merged with the all-girls’ school Mount St. Joseph in 1957 to form Aquinas, held ARC scoreless in a game that ended in a 0-0 tie. For years, the game was played every Thanksgiving and was a big deal for the city.

Aquinas will open the regular season at the old athletic complex for the final time against Jefferson County on Friday, Aug. 18, where school officials will celebrate the groundbreaking. After that, Aquinas home games will be played at Greenbrier.  

Christopher Rickerson, an Augusta University graduate, has covered area sports for Augusta University, The Augusta Press and Augusta Good News. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.

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