In 2010, as DeSales High School celebrated its 50th anniversary, many parents wondered if it wasn't time to move from 4212 Karl Road.

CORRECTION: Because of a reporting error, the print and earlier online version of this story gave the wrong name for DeSales High School's fundraising campaign, which is called "Be the Light."

In 2010, as DeSales High School celebrated its 50th anniversary, many parents wondered if it wasn't time to move from 4212 Karl Road.

"This whole area, the Northland area, was in transition," said principal Dan Garrick, who was also principal at the time.

Now there's no question as to where the school stands: DeSales is in the initial phases of a capital campaign to raise $15 million to $17 million -- $3 million of which would go into the school's endowment fund -- to vastly improve facilities.

The project will be divided into three phases with work on the first phase of enhancements scheduled to begin this summer, Garrick said.

"We are committed to the neighborhood in which we reside," said Garrick, who grew up in the neighborhood, graduated from DeSales in 1979 and has been with the school for 32 years, 15 as principal.

Refreshing the athletics complex is a major part of the "Be the Light" campaign, Garrick said.

Among the key projects is the relocation of the baseball field from the north side of the complex to the east side, adjacent to the football field. That area will become a softball field.

The facade of the school's main entrance also will be updated. A veterans memorial will be built on the plaza leading up to the school's entrance.

Improvements to academic facilities are no small part of the program, Garrick said.

A new STEM -- or science, technology, engineering and math -- center will open to the area of the school where the science classes are held. The old convent area, which is now empty, will become the site for student services, such as the guidance and campus-ministry offices. There will be a renovation and expansion of the cafeteria, updated classrooms and hallways and upgrades to the "little theater," Garrick said.

The traffic patterns around the school will become more functional as part of "Be the Light," Garrick said.

A loop will be built at the north end of the building so parents and buses can more easily drop off students. Access also will improve to the south, with construction of a new thoroughfare on Ferris Road, leading to DeSales and St. Mathias School, a K-8 facility adjacent to the Catholic high school.

"Everything we're doing will touch every student's academic and co-curricular interest," Garrick said.

Adam Dufault, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, said DeSales has repeatedly shown it is worthy of support.

"The Office of Catholic Schools is very grateful for the generosity of the entire St. Francis DeSales community as they begin their capital campaign," Dufault said. "It is a clear demonstration of DeSales' ongoing commitment to Catholic education and its willingness to perpetuate a culture of spirituality, stewardship, leadership, and scholarship on behalf of its students for years to come."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary