More than 600 students, family members, faculty and staff, and other supporters of St. Anthony High School in Long Beach welcomed alumnus Cardinal William J. Levada on Nov. 25 for a special Mass to officially launch the school’s new solar energy system and celebrate the completion of extensive campus renovations.

The newly renovated school facilities include the science building, the chapel, and the arbor in the courtyard. St. Anthony’s new solar energy system is expected to reduce the school’s energy costs by at least 68 percent annually, a projected savings of $1 million over the next 25 years.

The celebration began with Mass in the school’s Jack Errion Memorial Gymnasium, with Cardinal Levada — who graduated from St. Anthony’s in 1954 — as the main celebrant. The cardinal’s last visit to his alma mater was in 2006, when the school celebrated his appointment in Rome, where he served as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Benedict XVI.

The updated science building — which now has three state-of-the-art science labs, five classrooms and meeting spaces, a media center, and new bathroom facilities — will house the school’s new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program.