SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Bishop Heelan High School held a blessing and Siouxland Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting Thursday for the new outdoor courtyard for students.  

Heelan students and faculty took a break from classes to attend the event, where the student council president, the Heelan High School principal, and other speakers thanked the beneficiaries.  

Bishop R. Walker Nickless spoke a few words and finished by blessing the terrace. 

The Crusader Courtyard was created for students to use during study halls, lunch, and outdoor events.  

Larry Walsh, a Heelan graduate and grandfather of BHCS students, led the innovation for the unoccupied area after the gymnasium was completed in 2019.  

Terry Hegarty, volunteer project manager, worked with five companies to complete the foundation of the landscape.  

“It’s been a long time and it’s the culmination of a lot of different things,” said Principal of Bishop Heelan Catholic high school, Christian Bork, “I think the engineering was far more difficult than what we would ever understand and it’s just a great collaboration and coming together of outstanding stakeholders in our community to finish this off for our kids.”

The courtyard was created with foundation fill, terraced concrete, retaining walls, hand railings, and landscaping.  

LiteForm provided the fill, RP Constructors poured the concrete, Haugen Construction built the retaining walls, Masaba constructed the railings, and Bacon Creek Design assisted in designing.  

Alumni classes sponsored outdoor tables and benches, and the courtyard is set to be used for the Siouxland Big Give, an online day of giving for local nonprofits in October.  

“When COVID-19 struck last school year, it really hit home that we needed an area for students and others to gather safely outdoors,” said Dr. John Flanery, BHCS president, “We are incredibly grateful for donor and community support.”  

Crusader Courtyard will be used for class discussions, lunches, meetings, music practices, socializing, and boarding busses for school competitions for years to come.