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Posted 08/31/2017 09:14PM

Dedication Ceremony Officially Opens New 51 Meter Pool

ANAHEIM, California – August 31, 2017 – Servite High School held a dedication ceremony on Thursday, August 24 at 11:30 AM to celebrate the grand opening of the new Fr. Kevin Fitzpatrick Aquatic Center. The year-long, $5.7 million project reached completion, marking an important step forward for Servite's Credo Capital Campaign. Over 600 alumni, parents, current and former aquatics athletes and their families were in attendance to celebrate the occasion.

Major benefactors, Jim Belardi '75 and Tim Buckley '73, spoke to the spoke to those in attendance about their time at Servite and the impact it had on their personal development. They shared fond memories and key takeaways for students as they move through high school, to graduation and beyond.

Tim Buckley stressed that "The most important thing you can do in your lives here at Servite is to develop that Christ-centered personality."

"I hope that this aquatic complex will bring you and the surrounding community a lot of joy and greatly enhance your Servite experience," said James Belardi.

With a new home on the west side of campus, Servite Aquatics has a new state-of-the-art complex that expands Servite's campus footprint.

"We are continuing to develop our campus to provide the best opportunities for our students. We believe in forming our young Friars into Faith-Filled Leaders. We want to provide the best environment for student-athletes to develop not only their mind and intellect but their strength ", shared Jim Carter '82, Vice President of Mission and Operations.

Key features included are a 51-meter, 7-lane Olympic-sized pool with extra wide lanes for faster times, multiple floating and fixed cage water polo courses, pace clocks, shot clocks, timing system and men's and women's locker rooms. The Fr. Fitzpatrick Center gives Servite Aquatics a world-class facility ready for high-level competition. The new pool allows multiple teams to practice and will be able to host CIF, regional and national swimming and water polo tournaments. Servite will also be able to double student participant capacity in the Fr. Fitzpatrick Aquatic Center.

"With the creation of the new aquatic center, we will be able to serve more student-athletes than ever before while putting them in the best possible environment to succeed," said Alan Clinton, Athletics Director. "We look forward to the opportunities for growth that lie ahead and are thankful to everyone that helped in making this facility possible."

The new facility is named in honor of the school's beloved Fr. Kevin Fitzpatrick, OSM. 'Fr. Fitz' served at Servite High School for 22 years (1970-1992), teaching Algebra 1 and Religion while also helping out as a coach for the water polo and swim teams. In his coaching role, Fr. Fitz cleaned the pool daily and made it available to neighborhood kids in the summer. He was a model Friar, and now Servite Aquatics' new center will honor his dedication and sacrifices for students.

"It is a fitting tribute," said Fr. Gerald Horan, OSM. "[He was] my own high school algebra teacher, who had a great love for aquatics and who encouraged many servite athletes in their sport's goals."

Servite High School, located in Anaheim CA, is a Catholic, college preparatory school for boys, with a mission of forming Faith-Filled Leaders. The school was founded by the Order Friar Servants of Mary in 1958.

More about Fr. Kevin Fitzpatrick

Fr. Kevin Fitzpatrick, OSM, Fr. Fitz as he was known by the Friar Faithful, Served at Servite High School for 22 years, from 1970 - 1992. During his tenure, he taught Algebra I and Religion. He also had an affinity for water. He cleaned the pool every day and made it available for the neighborhood kids during the summer. Fr. Fitz also helped out with the water polo and swim teams as a coach. He provided shuttle service, giving students rides to practice offsite before our current pool was built. Fr. Fitz also gave free haircuts to students almost every day. He could relate to students from a wide variety of backgrounds. He was the Servite leaven on campus living the Servite Charisms of Fraternity, Service and Humility. He was always available to students any time during the school day and any time before or after. He was a model Friar and beloved by the larger Servite community. For his dedication to the Servite Aquatics program and the endless sacrifices he made for students, the new Aquatics Center is being named in his memory.

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