Bishop Daniel Jenky, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, blessed the property with holy water during a groundbreaking ceremony Friday.
"Nothing but the best is good enough to help the next generation assume their role of leadership," he said.
The ball is finally rolling to start work on the first phase of the project, estimated at $10 million. The phase includes the school's new and improved athletic complex.
"We're talking about a stadium for football, soccer and track, two baseball fields, two softball fields, practice fields and tennis courts," said principal Charlie Roy.
"We've had to go all around the city, spend a lot of money, use other people's facilities. This will allow us to use our own," Jenky said.
Currently, the 70 acre lot appears to be an empty field. But to student athletes at Peoria Notre Dame High School, it's the first sign of home field advantage.
"It's kind of difficult to have to share home field with Central and Manual, and playing a Richwoods sometimes as we're playing them as our home game at their place," Willy said.
Its a vision realized for student Patrick Kelly. As a senior student athlete, he looks forward to cheering on his team, on its own turf.
"It's a little disappointing, I won't be able to see all the new development, but I'm really happy for the school," said Willy.
Phase one should be finished in 2014. The rest of the school will cost an estimated $30 million. The school principal said its completion date will depend on fundraising efforts.