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Improving Our Facilities to Better Serve Our Students

While we are blessed with a beautiful 23-acre campus, we also recognize that updating some of our facilities would help us better serve our students and community. To this end, we have planned—and even already completed—many important campus improvement projects.

 

The first of these projects was the McNabb Field renovation, completed in summer of 2014.  Next, we upgraded our Dining Room, dedicated in honor of Helen McKenna Sheehy JC ’49.

 

Our next project and the capstone phase of our campaign is a re-envisioned St. Joseph’s Hall. Details are below. 

 

These initiatives reaffirm our commitment to providing an outstanding, well-rounded education that prepares young women for extraordinary lives.

 

 

THE FUTURE OF ST. JOE’S

BERCHMANS HALL & SAINTS CONNECTOR

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Education, professional opportunities and the world have all changed dramatically since St. Joe’s was built in 1959. As we envision a bold future for today’s and tomorrow’s students, we must upgrade our facilities to empower girls to truly thrive.  Updated facilities will help us emphasize collaboration, interdisciplinary studies, and STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math).  As the number of women in STEAM-area professions continues to rise, it is crucial that Visitation students are prepared for the new opportunities and leadership positions in a changing social and professional environment.

The project has evolved since its initial concept, in response to faculty, student input and emerging needs and is now more exciting than ever.  In addition to constructing the new Berchmans Hall wing,  we will also construct the “Saints Connector” linking the library to St. Joe’s.

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BERCHMANS HALL: $6.8 million

Honoring the faith-filled leadership of Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan ’48 & ’50

“Berchmans Hall is a wonderful tribute to Sister’s profound faith, enduring commitment to this community, and inspired leadership over so many decades.”

-Daniel M. Kerns Jr., Head of School

 

Berchmans Hall will be the northern anchor of the “new St. Joe’s.” This new, two-story wing will:

  • Honor visionary leader Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan ’48 & ’50 while opening doors for tomorrow’s leaders and visionaries.
  • Feature up to eight flexible new classrooms that can be reconfigured for an array of lessons, projects, small-group work, or interdisciplinary pursuits.
  • Enrich our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) offerings through state-of-the-art new science labs and an expansive, light-filled art studio.

 

SAINTS CONNECTOR: $2 million

 

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In visioning sessions with faculty and staff, the lack of communal space in St. Joe’s surfaced as a major concern. Currently, teachers struggle to find places for student meetings when their classrooms are in use, and girls have nowhere to gather for breaks, independent study, or collaborative work.  We ha
ve worked hard with our architects to address these issues. Now, our plans also include construction of the “Saints Connector,” a building that will:

 

  • Link the St. Bernard Library and St. Joe’s, building a greater physical and academic link between the two buildings.
  • Serve as the new entrance to and “heart” of our upper campus area.
  • Provide a “learning commons” for student study, group projects, teacher meetings, and more.
  • Offer a new “maker space” for hands-on construction, problem-solving, and tinkering.

 

COMPLETED PROJECTS

Dining Room

 

 

Goal: $3.5 million

The old dining room was built in the early 1900s, when enrollment was just a third of what it is today. Space-wise, the room was not meeting our modern needs, and the kitchen and servery were also outdated, cramped, and unable to provide the healthy and varied options that nourish our community.

 

Our new dining room doubles our seating capacity. The room is now bigger, more open, and more functional, with cozy nooks for studying and lots of tables for snacking and socializing. It can also serve as a much-needed location for medium-sized meetings and campus gatherings. The space is welcoming all times of day, for all members of our community.

 

The dining room is dedicated in honor of Helen McKenna Sheehy JC ’49.

 

 

Key Points About the New Dining Room
  • Seating capacity has doubled, allowing 260 students to eat at once.
  • The inviting, open new space is multipurpose and will serve as an excellent place not just to eat, but also to study, socialize, and gather for community events and meetings.
  • We have upgraded the mechanical systems to make the room more comfortable, including adding air conditioning.
  • Our kitchen and servery areas have also been updated, giving us more functionality and flexibility, and helping us offer more food options and healthy choices.

 

McNabb Field

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Goal: $1.2 million

The newly installed McNabb Field turf surface, completed in 2014, ensures that our competitive and determined athletes play on a field that matches their true grit. One of the last schools in our league to build a turf field, Visitation now competes on a level playing field that is worthy of its talents. The state-of-the-art field also reduces weather-related cancellations and serves as a safe practice space for the hundreds of Visitation athletes who use it.

 

The field dates back to 1945, when young field hockey players wore long skirts and playing lines were vaguely drawn.  In 1998, it was dedicated in honor of Sr. Mary de Sales McNabb ’48 & ‘50, who was first a student-athlete, then a teacher, coach, and enthusiastic cheerleader for so many our of students. Sister played on this field when she was a student here. The field also boasts a new scoreboard and scorer’s table.