Opening the next chapter in the 92-year history of Cathedral High School, a crowd of alumni, students and families, staff, partners, and benefactors gathered this morning at the school’s South End campus to witness the dedication and official opening of the new Applied Learning Center.
The new 15,000-square-foot facility, the result of an $8 Million “Full STEAM Ahead” campaign, enables Cathedral to expand programs for STEAM-based learning: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The Applied Learning Center includes a design-based learning makerspace lab, complete with a state-of-the-art Autodesk 3-D printer, an area dedicated to arts and cultural activities, as well as seven additional collaborative learning spaces. The school launched the Full STEAM Ahead campaign in September 2016, broke ground in April 2017, and is now opening the Applied Learning Center in time for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
“For us, this is not just a building: this signifies the completion of our campus. We now have our gymnasium, our school building, and our Applied Learning Center,” said Dr. Oscar Santos, Head of School. “It also gives us an opportunity to give students more chances to be successful.”
With the expansion of this Center, students will have the opportunity to study modern subjects including robotics, coding, graphic design, engineering. Students also gain dedicated spaces for newly-added opportunities in the arts, including theater and music programs.
President of the school’s Board of Trustees, Paul Chisholm, thanked those who made the project possible including generous benefactors, the team from Shawmut Construction, Architect Matt Juros and Fishbrook Design, and Lighthouse Construction Management. “Without them we wouldn’t have been successful,” said Mr. Chisholm.
He also highlighted the special role of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, several of whom were present for the grand opening. The building was originally their convent and this renovation includes several aspects honoring their decades of hard work and dedication to Cathedral High School.
Armani Lamin ’19 offered his gratitude on behalf of his fellow students who will get to utilize this 21st century learning space starting with tomorrow’s first day of school. “I thank all of you…for this building that all of you have funded with your time and support.”
During the campaign for this initiative, Dr. Santos emphasized that the Applied Learning Center wasn’t a frill or luxury: “Our world is changing, and the way we think about jobs, education, and technology is evolving,” said Dr. Santos. “Innovation facilities, advanced technology, and cutting-edge classes are quickly becoming the norm in education. Without this Applied Learning Center, our students would fall behind.”
Episcopal Vicar for the Central Region of the Archdiocese of Boston, Very Rev. James Flavin, led those present in prayer and blessed the building. A group of current Cathedral High School students, along with the Head of School and Board President then officially cut the ceremonial ribbon on the Applied Learning Center and welcomed everyone in. Student ambassadors followed by leading tours of the new space for all of the guests.
To learn more about the Applied Learning Center and the Full STEAM Ahead campaign, visit https://cathedralhighschool.net/STEAM.