Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega and philanthropist Dody Pitre of The Pitre Family Foundation were among the more than 100 attendees at the grand opening of the St. Catherine of Bologna Performing Arts Center.
The event was held on Sept. 30 at the Notre Dame Prep campus in Scottsdale, according to a press release. Named after the patron saint of the arts, the center is the first new building on the NDP campus since the school opened in 2002.
More than 20,000 square feet, the site houses the Pitre Family Theater, classrooms for instrumental and vocal musical instruction and a state-of-art recording studio for video production classes and NDP Live!, the school’s media broadcasting club.
“You have given us more than a building, you have given us the opportunity to create,” said NDP senior Carlo Lanza, in the release as he addressed the group of donors who gathered in the theater, where he spends many hours in the recording studio as a lead anchor for NDP Live! video announcements.
The evening was marked by tours, testimonials, and performances by NDP students, all of whom were grateful to the donors and supporters of the arts.
NDP campus chaplain, Fr. Kurt Perera attended the grand opening to bless the theater and all who enter it: “May God Bless this building and give peace to all who dwell in it,” he prayed, the release said.
Performances were given by the Bella Voce Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Guitar Orchestra, Drama Club and Dance Team. After each performance, a student thanked those in attendance for their support of the arts.
“It means so much to us to have a legitimate space to create art, perform and to store our instruments,” stated tenor sax player Alyssa Wood, a senior in the Notre Dame Prep Jazz Ensemble. “It’s a sign to everyone that NDP takes the arts seriously, and I can’t thank you enough.”
Building construction began in the spring of 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, the release noted.
Construction materials were delayed, and workers were scarce, but through the dedication of Jill Platt, NDP president, Willmeng Construction and the school’s capital campaign committee, the building was finished when school began on Aug. 11 this year.
“We owed this to our community and to our talented students,” Platt said. “This building will support the arts for generations of NDP students and will serve as a venue to celebrate the arts in Scottsdale for years to come.”
Notre Dame Prep is a Catholic diocesan college preparatory high school with a co-ed enrollment of 875 students. The school at 9701 E. Bell Road in Scottsdale has received national recognition for the caliber of its academic, arts and athletic programs.