Cathedral Catholic High School Formally Unveils New State-of-the-Art Engineering Facility, Enhances Program with Its New Building Dedicated to Engineering Sciences

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Cutting-Edge Facility, High-Level Coursework & World-Class Educators in Science, Math & Robotics Provide Transformative Educational Opportunity for Future Engineers.

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With engineering being a fast-growing and highly competitive field, nurturing the technical knowledge, skill sets, and passion of our students who want to pursue an engineering focus for the next chapter of their studies is a priority for our institution.

Cathedral Catholic High School (CCHS), the San Diego-based private Catholic school renowned for its leadership in Catholic and college preparatory education, today announced the opening of an innovative new engineering building built to provide students with a robust foundation in engineering sciences and further academic excellence, as a conduit to college-level coursework. The four-year Pre-Engineering Program is housed in the brand-new Daniel & Mary McSweeney Engineering Building, which officially opened its doors on January 9, 2019 and is located by the Manchester stadium on the CCHS campus. The facility will be open to the public at an Open House taking place on February 25, 2019 at 6pm.

“Cathedral Catholic High School is proud to give our students the exciting opportunity for an advanced education and hands-on experiences in engineering, and our new building provides the perfect setting for this dynamic elective,” said Stevan Laaperi, CCHS President. “With engineering being a fast-growing and highly competitive field, nurturing the technical knowledge, skill sets, and passion of our students who want to pursue an engineering focus for the next chapter of their studies is a priority for our institution.”

The CCHS Pre-Engineering curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong and comprehensive basis to succeed in future Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs, preparing them for the challenges of college-level courses while helping them develop critical analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. In addition to many high-level core courses such as Intro to STEAM and Advanced STEAM, the program also offers Engineering Design, AP Physics, AP Calculus AB, and other fundamental courses.

CCHS students also have the opportunity to gain valuable field experience through a range of local, state, and national activities, competitions, seminars, and workplace experiences in the areas of Science, Technology, and Robotics. Students who matriculate through the program earn a special four-year Engineering designation, which will be a significant asset when continuing on to higher education. CCHS is proud to graduate its first class with the designation this school year.

Attracting leaders and educators across the Engineering spectrum, the program’s team includes Andrew Knoll, who holds a Master of Science Civil Engineering, Master of Arts Education and Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering; Stephanie Pena, who holds a Master of Arts Teaching and Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering; and Kevin Elliot, who holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and was instrumental in the development and implementation of 3D software.

The CCHS Pre-Engineering Program was born from the school’s highly popular Robotics Club, which outgrew its meeting space in one of the campus’s unoccupied gardening buildings due to increasing participation over the past few years. The new Daniel & Mary McSweeney Engineering Building - which broke ground in June 2018 and opened its doors shortly before 2019 - boasts a computer assisted design lab, electronics workshop, and robotics arena. Outfitted with state-of-the art technology, students can master the CNC milling machine and plasma cutting table, 3D printing, specialized workstations, and other cutting-edge architecture, engineering, and robotics software programs. The former gardening workshop now provides additional space for a fully-equipped machine shop.

The Pre-Engineering project was made possible by the support, tenacity, and faith of the school’s advancement team and donors, including board member Daniel McSweeney and his wife Mary. Daniel, an entrepreneur who began his career as an engineer, and who has had multiple grandchildren attend Cathedral, contributed $1.5M along with his wife. Executive Chairman of Illumina Jay Flatley and Sarah Flatley also contributed $300K towards the project.

“The efforts and generosity of the McSweeney’s, Flatley’s, the CCHS Advancement Team, and all of our donors and supporters will not only make a true difference in the lives of our students, it will result in future generations of engineers who will continue to shape the world we live in,” said Mike Trunzo, CCHS Director of Major Gifts. “We look forward to all of the advancements and positive contributions our students will make.”

The CCHS Pre-Engineering Program officially will graduate its first class on June 1, 2019. For more information on the program or CCHS, visit or call 858.523.4000.

Media Contact:

GG Benitez & Associates PR        
GG Benitez                        

Cathedral Catholic High School
Mike Trunzo, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving
858-523-4000, ext. 1115

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Michael Trunzo
Cathedral Catholic High School
+1 619-851-7409
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