Long-term plan addresses school’s landscaping

The new courtyard is just a start, according to administrator


The landscaping in the courtyard and in front of Loretto Hall is part of a three-phase plan to improve the look of the campus, according to Chief Operating Officer Mr. Rolly Landeros.

Madeline Taylor, Reporter

On a crisp fall morning, a student turns onto the Hill to begin their day. As they round the crest of the Hill, they are greeted by the fresh dew, the warm sunrise in their eyes and most recently, the fresh grass, shrubs and trees that dot the brand new courtyard.

After months of the landscape being a harsh brown combined with construction equipment for the past year, seeing the campus vibrant and green is a fresh sight. What is currently in sight is only a start, however, as the elaborate plan for the future of landscaping here on the Hill has only just begun. Current students as well as the children of current students will benefit from these changes. 

Chief Operating Officer Mr. Rolly Landeros is at the forefront of this change involving the landscaping. While he said he is pleased with the current status of the courtyard, he outlines the plan to go much further. 

Landeros said, “We added 120 new plants and flowers around the courtyard and we leverage the instigation of the crews to install 29 new trees throughout the courtyard on campus grounds which is phases 1 of 3 of campus planning. Phase 2 will be Cunningham and the (Shiel Student Life Center) and Phase 3 will be up the hill and bringing back the glory days to the forest on Cathedral.” 

Now that we know the long term plan for the campus, we can plant trees that we know their lifespan.”

— Mr. Rolly Landeros

The goal of this plan is to recreate what Landeros described as the “Cathedral Forest,” which existed during the ‘80s and ‘90s and was lost as a result of the addition of new buildings. However, with the new redesign of the campus, Landeros said, “Now that we know the long term plan for the campus, we can plant trees that we know their lifespan.” The Hill has the opportunity to incorporate the old elements of the Cathedral Forest into the plans for the future.

The initial stage of the three-step plan is almost complete, so soon it will be time for the second stage to begin. This phase will primarily involve Cunningham and the SLC. In this phase, approximately 20 to 30 new trees will be planted around this area. 

The view of the campus is a favorite of many teachers and students. Spanish teacher Mrs. Karen Hovanec said, “I think that we should appreciate the beautiful campus we have and do everything to keep it that way.” 

With this new landscaping plan and the future goals in mind, a total of around 100 new trees will be planted along the grass and way up the Hill. The trail will also be cleaned up and added to. Around 100 cubic yards of mulch will be added to the trail via the Dads’ Club. The ultimate goal is that in 20 to 50 years the students will be able to enjoy the campus to its full potential. 

Despite the plan being set and in progress, there is always room for improvement and new ideas to accompany it. Landeros said, “If there are any students that would love to help with ideas that could help Cathedral become a more beautiful campus, please contact me or (technology coordinator Mrs.) Gara Schommer.”

And one more thing: Please stay off the new lawn in the courtyard and use the sidewalks to make your way back and forth from Loretto to Kelly.