Bishop J. Mark Spalding will be joined by church, community, and civic leaders for the official groundbreaking for St. Michael Academy, the first regional Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Nashville.
The site for St. Michael Academy is strategically located close to three major highways and sits between existing parishes in Williamson and Rutherford counties. The school is expected to attract students from those parishes as well as non-Catholic students seeking a high-quality, faith-filled educational environment. The school is expected to open for children as young as prekindergarten in the Fall of 2024.
The groundbreaking will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31, at 7668 Nolensville Road in Nolensville, Tennessee. The event is free and open to the public with advance tickets available at https://dioceseofnashville.com/sma.
The diocese selected Nolensville as the site for this new school because of tremendous growth in the area and the need for quality Catholic education options.
Demographic data suggests that in addition to the 34 percent growth in population experienced in Williamson County over the last 10 years, the county’s population is projected to continue increasing through 2040 by almost 120 percent.
“Given this level of anticipated growth, together with the increasingly crowded public school system and the lack of Catholic school options in the area, or any independent private school option, the Diocese of Nashville recognized an extraordinary opportunity to serve our current families on a campus that is perfectly suited to expand and evolve alongside the rapidly growing community,” Dr. Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Nashville said.
Construction of the $60.2 million facility marks the first of three phases of work on the beautiful 166-acre Nolensville Catholic Campus. The school will eventually serve approximately 525 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade.
Phase two of the growth of the campus will be the building of St. Mother Teresa Church and phase three will be the construction of a high school. Timing, design, and cost of the second and third phases of the project have not been determined.
“St. Michael Academy will raise the level of excellence in education in Middle Tennessee to new heights,” said Dr. Hammel. “It will be a nurturing environment that holds in highest regard the needs of its students with a values-based Catholic education that will enrich the community and the region for decades to come.”
The school will offer a rigorous curriculum in a building equipped with evidence-based classroom design to facilitate both independent and collaborative learning.
Technology will be implemented throughout the complex, including the newest generation of security systems for campus safety and tools such as interactive digital panels for student use. Sound amplification systems will be installed in classrooms to optimize volume and clarity for teacher instruction, and a filtered ventilation system will clean common allergens, viruses, and bacteria from the air.
The school will include the diocese’s well-regarded Hand in Hand Options Program which provides a quality Catholic education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The aesthetically beautiful 102,000 square foot building will make abundant use of natural light and provide easy access to outdoor classroom space providing ample environmental learning opportunities fostering real-world problem-solving skills.
St. Michael Academy will share the campus with St. Mother Teresa Catholic Church, which currently celebrates Sunday Mass at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at Nolensville Elementary School, 2338 Rocky Fork Road.
The parish celebrated its first Mass as a community in September 2021, with 200 registered parishioners. Today, the number of registered parishioners is 1,100.
About The Diocese of Nashville
The Diocese of Nashville was established in 1837 and initially included the entire state of Tennessee. Today its territory covers 38 counties in Middle Tennessee. Its 60 churches serve a diverse community with sacraments celebrated in several languages including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean. Ministries of the diocese include religious education, youth ministries, vocation formation, and Catholic Charities, which provides social services and assistance to those in vulnerable circumstances throughout the region. More information is available at dioceseofnashville.com.
About Catholic Schools Office
Operating under the umbrella of the Diocese of Nashville, the Catholic Schools Office serves 16 diocesan and parochial schools educating more than 5,000 students in prekindergarten through grade 12. Additionally, the diocese is home to three independent Catholic schools. More information is available at dioceseofnashville.com/catholic-schools.