By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a pep rally and groundbreaking for the new Cristo Rey Philadelphia high school in the city’s Tioga section on Tuesday.

Inside a former industrial warehouse near 17th and West Allegheny Avenue, students, staff, donors and supporters of Cristo Rey celebrated the groundbreaking for a new campus that will include a new gymnasium, athletic field and outdoor space.

Construction on the nearly $40 million project is expected to be finished by January 2019.

Michael Gomez, the school’s founding principal, says they simply ran out of space for the 490 students crammed into a former elementary school in the 5200 block of North Broad Street.

“We need space, we need parking,” Gomez said. “We want to deliver a place that’s going to give our students and faculty the whole high school experience and that’s what our moving into the Tioga section is going to do.”

Mayor Jim Kenney says the timing for construction of the new private school in the Tioga section is perfect.

“I’m very happy for this neighborhood,” he said. “This will be a center for the community, not only for the children during the school day, but at night it will be an expanded campus going west and will be a wonderful addition to this neighborhood.”

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