Cardinal Gibbons Celebrates Blessing and Ribbon Cutting of the Phil Smith Family Building
Erin Herbert

On April 21, Cardinal Gibbons High School and the Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, were joined by various community members to celebrate the blessing and ribbon cutting of the school’s new academic wing, the Phil Smith Family Building. 

Archbishop Thomas Wenski blessing the Phil Smith Family Building

The 15,000-square-foot academic wing, named in honor of late South Florida philanthropist Phil Smith, whose family foundation, the Phil and Susan Smith Family Foundation, donated $750,000 to the Our Faith, Our Family, Our Future Capital Campaign, will house Cardinal Gibbons’ expanding STEAM and music programs. The blessing of the new facility marks the end of the first phase of Cardinal Gibbons’ master plan. The school launched the Our Faith, Our Family, Our Future campaign in November 2016, broke ground on the Phil Smith Family Building in June 2019, and students are now expected to attend classes in the new academic wing at the start of the 2021-2022 school year in August 2021. 

“This facility provides an array of enhanced academic programming and opportunities for the betterment of all our students, as well as for our faculty and staff,” said Cardinal Gibbons Principal Oscar A. Cedeño. “It will, no doubt, better prepare our students for their post-secondary education journey and provide them with the added resources to respond to the challenges of a constantly growing and changing social and corporate landscape.”

Student representatives at the blessing and ribbon cutting of the Phil Smith Family Building

The blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the Phil Smith Family Building’s Engineering Lab, which is a flexible learning space where students across multiple disciplines will gain hands-on experience planning and executing projects. All event seating was arranged to adhere to the recommended CDC social distancing guidelines, and all guests were required to wear masks. 

Cardinal Gibbons President Thomas E. Mahon extended his sincere gratitude to all those who made the completion of the Phil Smith Family Building possible, including the Smith family, Architect A T Franco & Associates, the team from Herrmann Construction of South Florida Corp. and numerous generous donors. “This building was exquisitely designed and planned,” Mahon said. “Twenty-two months ago, many of you joined us here as we broke ground, and now what you see here is the finished product that we are so very proud of.”

Principal Cedeño and President Mahon were joined by Paul D. Ott ‘66, former principal of Cardinal Gibbons, John “Jack” P. Seiler ‘81, Capital Campaign Steering Committee Chair and former Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Charlie Myers and Shawn Smith-Myers ‘89, representatives of the Smith family, and Archbishop Wenski as members of the ribbon cutting committee. The ceremony was followed by a short reception and guided tours of the building’s seven classroom and lab spaces.

We invite you to view more photos from the event below.