DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) A special groundbreaking ceremony took place Wednesday morning for a state-of-the-art Catholic school. Kris Schuller reports many are looking forward to the opening of the new Notre Dame School of De Pere.

On the site of the new Notre Dame School of De Pere students gather for a groundbreaking celebration.

“Oh it does not get better than this day,” said Principal Molly Mares.

The new school under construction is the result of a $27 million gift from Jim and Miriam Mulva, announced in May.

“I think it says a lot about their Catholic faith. They are willing to give so much to the Catholic education and the Catholic church,” said De Pere Mayor Mike Walsh.

That money allows the parishes of St. Francis Xavier and St. Mary’s to move their existing elementary and middle school programs now operating in two separate buildings, to one facility. And here on the former playground of the elementary school, the new facility is being built.

“Three stories down at George Street, which tapers down as it goes into the neighborhood, so it fits into the neighborhood,” said Marvin Wall, a member of the site advisory council.

“When you take a step back and think of the enormity of the gift and the impact and dream the dream of what next year will look like, I don’t think that will ever sink in,” said Mares.

Combining the schools frees up parking space for the $50 million Mulva Cultural Center scheduled to open in 2022. A fact that was acknowledged by the generous donors earlier this year.

“Some of these things have been in the works for as much as four year, so it’s exciting for us to be able to announce these and the two projects really kind of link,” Miriam Mulva said when the gift was first announced in spring.

A link that has lead to this groundbreaking for the new Notre Dame School of De Pere.

“We dedicate this construction site to the education of youth and learning,” said Father Richard Getchel, who serves both St. Francis Xavier and St. Mary’s.

Expected to open fall of next year. The new school will have room for 450 students.