LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany celebrated a unique milestone in its history Thursday when Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger officially opened and blessed Catholic Central School (CCS), the Diocese’s first Pre-K to 12 school, in Latham. St. Ambrose School in Latham and Catholic Central High School in Lansingburgh merged to form the new consolidated school, which currently has 385 students enrolled.

“I’m excited to help officially open its doors and celebrate this special moment with faculty, staff, students, and their families,” said Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger. “Catholic Central School shows what we can do together when we look beyond the borders of traditional educational models and follow through on a vision that best serves our Catholic school students, their families, and the larger community.

“I’m especially excited to watch students from this school develop in mind, body, and soul in lifelong Christian discipleship,” he added. “Having this new regional school linked physically and spiritually to St. Ambrose Parish helps solidify the critical role of faith in this endeavor. The proximity to the parish will create new opportunities for youth ministry, service, and afternoon activities.”

“The need to provide Catholic education is greater than ever,” said Giovanni Virgiglio, Ed.D, superintendent of schools, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, noting that several schools in the Diocese have experienced double-digit percentage enrollment increases. “This central, regional concept intended to strengthen Catholic education is a model we have studied and hoped to pursue when the time was right. Today that vision becomes reality!

“Catholic Central School places our students at the forefront of Catholic education while opening up a whole world of possibilities for both current and future students,” he continued. “It will provide a state-of-the-art education with even more extracurricular activities and offerings. The school will also actively expand upon higher educational partnerships we have with many of the surrounding universities.”

Located on Old Loudon Road off Northway Exit 7, CCS will be created in phases over the next few years. 2022-2023 will be a transitional year. Students are currently sharing the existing 20,500-square-foot building. Wings and multiple entrances allow administrators to keep the three distinct age groups—pre-k and kindergarten, grades one through five, and grades six through 12—separated and, when needed, allow for purposeful interaction and mentoring opportunities.

The new school gives families the option to enroll their children at any stage of their education, accommodating the varying grade level configurations of any surrounding public or private school. For more information, visit the Catholic Central School website or call (518) 785-6453.