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Central Catholic High School Turns 50 – Builds Mark Gallo Health and Fitness Center 

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Central Catholic High School, a college preparatory school conceived to serve Stanislaus County (and beyond) with our mission to witness the Gospel while building an educational community that inspires the spiritual, academic, and social development of young adults. In conjunction with this 50th Anniversary, the first major addition to the original campus, the 28,000 square foot Mark Gallo Health and Fitness Center will open with a Ribbon Cutting and dedication on Aug. 12. Ground was broken just 14 months ago on this beautiful new facility, built by Huff Construction.

Mark Gallo was a junior at Central Catholic when he died of a rare disease. He played basketball and football and loved to fish. A thoughtful and caring young man, he was one of eight children. A very generous gift through his family, as well as from other caring donors, made the project that was so many years in the making, come true. The Center includes a 1,100-seat capacity gym, a 2,300 square foot fitness center, a nutrition lab/instructional kitchen, two classrooms, tennis courts, offices and training room. The large front lobby that welcomes visitors can also be used for receptions and small dinners. It is highlighted by a large mural, depicting students in the various sports that will be impacted by this new addition to the campus.

The fitness center, the John C. Bosio Training Center, boasts a broad spectrum of exercise equipment that will appeal to all our students, for training and conditioning for athletes and for the opportunity to stay fit and active for the general student population. The training room has been dedicated to a Central Catholic alumnus and athlete who lost his life in a car accident. The two classrooms will be home to health and nutrition classes and our rapidly growing and thriving FFA program. Locker rooms, storage rooms, and offices for coaches and trainers fill out the building.

The Nutrition Center will be one more step toward our “farm to fork” ambitions. The industrial size kitchen will serve day-to-day needs, from lunches to concessions, and will be the home for cooking from scratch classes for our students. Job opportunities assisting our chef in food preparation and distribution will also be available. The kitchen is built to handle dinners for up to 500 in the gym (our BASH Auction/Gala among them).

The complex also includes six brand new tennis courts (increasing those available at CCHS from four to six), additional parking and an inviting outdoor eating area for students. Proximity to the Center allows tennis players to use the locker rooms and fitness center. Beautiful landscaping and a garden dedicated to our former principal, Melissa Bengtson Besseling, surround the building. Donors took advantage of the opportunity to “purchase” bleacher seats. Plaques with the donors’ names were affixed to the seats of the center section of the home side bleachers, which, when closed, will present a Wall of CCHS History, with the names of alumni and supporters from the last 50 years.

While the Mark Gallo Health and Fitness Center is built for Central Catholic students, our hope is to invite others in the community to use it when it is not being used by our students. It may be the perfect venue for a wedding reception, large conference, or retreat. Call Mitzi Lucas/Joan Hart at 209.524.9611 for more information.

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