Breaking ground for construction of the new Xavier Jesuit Academy in Bond Hill - Jim Watkins, CEO, TriVersity; Mike Keating, Chair, Xavier Jesuit Academy Board; Jacque Edmerson, President, Bond Hill Community Council; Sam Burchenal, Xavier Jesuit Academy Board Member; Fr. Nathan Wendt, S.J., President, Xavier Jesuit Academy; Alicia Reece, President, Hamilton County Commission; Nor-Rita Conner Winters, St. Agnes (class of 1970); and, Bill Mack, St. Agnes (class of 1956). Photo provided

By Greg Vehr

The groundbreaking event for what will be the only faith-based, scholarship-funded elementary school (grades 3 – 8) in Bond Hill, the Xavier Jesuit Academy, was September 13 at the site of the former St. Agnes School on the campus of the Church of the Resurrection (1619 California Avenue).

When it opens in the fall of 2024, the newly renovated school will provide a unique and proven education model, called the Jesuit Nativity education model, with smaller class sizes designed to engage and encourage young men from economically challenged communities during their formative years.

The Academy will provide a solid core curriculum focused on reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The new school will also feature an extended day model providing intentional programming for students with engaging options that are fun and complement the core academic curriculum.

“The Xavier Jesuit Academy will focus on breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing a meaningful life path of education, employment and adulthood for young males from low-income communities,” says Fr. Nathan Wendt, SJ, president of XJA. “Jesuits are proud to be associated with Xavier University, St. Xavier High School and, now, the Xavier Jesuit Academy. We are also proud that 65.6% of the $9.2 million renovation costs will be spent with minority suppliers.”

Bill Baechtold, XJA Board Member and City Councilmember Scotty Johnson sign the construction helmet that will be displayed in the atrium of the new school. Photo provided

Xavier Jesuit Academy will begin accepting applications for the 2024/25 in October 2023. Ohio Ed/Choice Scholarships and private donors will cover the tuition costs.

Speakers at the event included Mike Keating, Chair of the XJA Board; Fr. Nathan Wendt, SJ, President of XJA; Alicia Reece, Hamilton County Commission President; Jacque Edmerson, President of the Bond Hill Community Council; Sam Burchenal, XJA Board member and representative of the Burchenal Family (major benefactors); Jim Watkins, President, TriVersity Construction.

Jacque Edmerson, Alicia Reece, and Fr. Nathan Wendt. Photo provided

Two graduates of the former St. Agnes Elementary School, Bill Mack ‘58 and Nor-rita Conner Winters ‘70 assisted in the groundbreaking ceremony representing all St. Agnes graduates.

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