Bishop blesses KMC athletic complex building site

Bishop Michael O. Jackels blesses the perimeter of what will become the Coach Herm and Jackie Bachrodt Athletic Complex Thursday, Aug. 27. Students witnessed the ceremony on the concrete floor of the complex. (Advance photos)

By Christopher M. Riggs
Bishop Michael O. Jackels blessed the construction site of Phase 3 of the Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School Facilities Master Plan after an all-school Mass Thursday morning, Aug. 27. Phase 3 is made up of the Coach Herm and Jackie Bachrodt Athletic Complex and a new eight-lane track.
The track is scheduled to be complete by mid-October and the athletic complex by early next summer.
Students attending Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School have been getting comfortable with the construction that has been going on for several years at Wichita’s east-side high school. KMC’s last completed project, the student commons, opened in August 2007. A year from now, freshmen will benefit from all of the work that has been done at the school – without all of the hassle.
“The KMC student body was excited to see the progress of the construction throughout the summer and when they returned for classes,” said Kevin Arkin, KMC’s director of Development. “No one minds the inconvenience caused by the construction. We are all looking forward to having a top-notch athletic facility for our indoor athletic teams and physical education programs next year.”
An artist’s rendering of the complex which is projected to be complete by early next summer.

During the blessing ceremony, KMC president Mike Burrus talked about the blessings that came together in order to get the project underway.
“In these economic times, it required divine intervention – through the intercession of Fr. Kapaun – to eliminate the $6 million funding shortfall we had for Phase 3 as recently as last November. In my mind, it was a miracle, though not likely one that will contribute to his canonization,” he said to guests and the student body.
He credited the campaign leadership team of volunteer Pete Meitzner, diocesan Director of Development and Planned Giving Mike Wescott, and KMC Development Director Kevin Arkin, and other volunteers and supporters who shared in the “miracle.”
“I will be forever grateful to all of these people, and to so many others, for doing their parts in turning this opportunity into reality,” Burrus said.
“It is also critical to have the support of Herm Bachrodt and his family who have dedicated the new athletic complex to the memory of their late wife and mother, Jackie, who passed away in 2004.
“Construction is well underway and great progress is being made. Our contractors are beginning to erect steel and to build the masonry walls. Their goal is to have the building totally enclosed and weather-proofed by Christmas, and to complete the project by next June,” Burrus concluded.
Phase 1 of KMC’s building project was the science and technology building. Phase 2 was the Commons area. Phases 4 and 5 include a new chapel, and the expansion and refurbishment of the fine arts and administrative areas.
Those attending the blessing listen to Bishop Michael O. Jackels on the concrete building pad of the Herm and Jackie Bachrodt Athletic Complex on the Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School grounds in Wichita.