Officials at John Bapst Memorial High School on Thursday announced a fundraising campaign that aims to raise $7.5 million for a renovation and expansion project that includes a new gymnasium, fitness center and dining hall.

Head of School Mel MacKay announced the campaign to students, parents, faculty and community leaders packed inside Sekera Auditorium.

"John Bapst is launching the biggest capital campaign in its 90-year history," MacKay said in a press release. "We're here to stay, with a mission to offer 21st-century students 21st-century facilities."

The plans call for a new practice gym on Somerset Street. The original gym will be converted into a student dining hall and community center, and old locker rooms will be turned into a center for technology and innovation.

"Our programs in robotics, coding, artificial intelligence, cyber security and engineering just keep growing," MacKay said.

The school plans to create up to 30 new parking spaces, potentially easing the parking crunch near the school's campus at 100 Broadway.

The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation presented a $50,000 check to the school for new fitness equipment. "People have been very generous, and we've already raised nearly $3.5 million toward our goal," MacKay said.

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