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 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 in January 2016. This summer, we will begin construction on the capstone phase of our campaign, a re-envisioned St. Joseph’s Hall, dedicated to our visionary leader Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan ’48 & ’50. These initiatives reaffirm our commitment to providing an outstanding, well-rounded education that prepares young women for extraordinary lives.
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.
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:
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 have worked hard with our architects to address these issues. Now, our plans also include construction of the “Saints Connector,” a building that will:
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 and was opened to students in January 2016.
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.