New Catholic High School opening in Twin Cities area

A new high school set to open in Burnsville in the fall of 2019 hopes to serve Catholic families in the south metro of the Twin Cities. Local Catholic business leader Tom Bengtson, who helped launch Chesterton Academy in 2008, and retired NFL player and former Minnesota Viking Matt Birk are teaming up to open Unity High School at Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville.

The school will use existing classrooms at the church, and will begin with ninth grade in the fall, adding one grade per year until it reaches 12th grade. Bengtson said a Catholic high school was needed in this part of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Archbishop Bernard Hebda has approved the beginning of a three-phase process to determine whether the school would gain official recognition as a Catholic high school in the archdiocese. If that happens, the name would change to Unity Catholic High School.

“I have known forever that the south metro — in other words … below the Minnesota River — has not had a high school, and yet it’s an area of booming population,” said Bengtson, 57, who graduated from the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield in 1979. “You’ve got lots of Catholic families down there, you have 10 Catholic grade schools down there, and yet there are no Catholic high schools.”
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