Renovated facilities and the first full-time priest faculty member in two decades greeted 500 students back to campus on Aug. 25, the first day of the 2014-2015 academic year for St. Anthony High School in Long Beach.

The school’s science building, chapel, courtyard arbor and baseball field all have been renovated, part of the school’s master plan to accommodate curriculum growth and keep pace with enrollment. The renovation of St. Anthony’s historic two-story science building, which was funded through the generosity of several major donors, began last May and included the updating of three state-of-the-art science labs, five classrooms and meeting spaces, and the construction of new bathroom facilities.

“The full renovation of our Science Building enables us to expand our science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, and better prepare students who have an interest in these areas for both college and career,” said Gina Rushing Maguire, president of St. Anthony High School.

The new chapel will be where St. Anthony’s newly-appointed chaplain and faculty member, Father Raymond Marquez, celebrates Mass at 7:15 a.m. daily for students, faculty, staff and community members. Father Marquez, ordained in 2010 from St. John’s Seminary, will be officially welcomed Sept. 7 at a picnic (12:30 p.m.) hosted by Our Lady of Refuge Church at Stearns Champions Park.

St. Anthony’s bougainvillea-shrouded “Arbor in the Courtyard” on the main campus was rebuilt, offering shade and seating for students. Renovations of the school’s athletic field on Clark and Del Amo also have begun.