New flexible learning spaces continue to focus on enhancing the cognitive process of learning for students. Before and after photos show the transformation of classrooms, play and exercise spaces, and bathrooms.
When students returned to campus this fall, they were greeted by renovated and redesigned classrooms, play and exercise spaces, and bathrooms. Many of these campus improvements are informed by "Pedagogy of Space" initiatives that link the cognitive process of learning with how students engage with their surroundings.
Time to Climb
Lower Form students had a treat waiting for them on the first day of school: a new playground. Located on the back side of Grant House, Shea Court underwent a complete renovation aimed at engaging the whole body. Sitting on top of a new turf surface, the structure consists of a climbing net with a slide and pole, a balancing surfboard and a spinner.
Science Lab Makeover
Middle Form boys and girls will benefit from two new science labs located in the Siboni Arts & Science Center. Both rooms were completely gutted and rebuilt to inspire teaching and learning practices that engage participants collaboratively, mentally and physically. One room grew by 215 square feet, opening the floor plan to create a more functional space.
For optimum classroom orientation and flexibility, movable desks replaced fixed lab stations, and counters were installed along the perimeter of the rooms. The addition of overhead grids for mounting equipment enable science experiments to happen vertically, and writable walls create ample space for note taking, researching and lecturing while moving around the space.
Bathrooms Take a Giant Leap Forward
A complete remodel of the Convent High School bathrooms — last renovated in the 1940s — on the second and third floors of Flood Mansion includes new piping, fixtures, partitions, flooring, wall coverings and lighting. Through the redesign process, only one stall was eliminated from both bathrooms to create a more functional and attractive space.
A New Athletics and Fitness Space
Located on the same level as the elevated track in Herbert Center Gymnasium, a new multi-purpose athletics space complements the main gym and helps meet the recreation needs of the physical education and athletics departments.
By converting two underutilized rooms into one open area, the fitness center provides space for teams to practice concurrently with improved athletic training facilities for injury treatment and prevention. The room features a turf surface with cross training equipment on the perimeter, including kettlebells, bosu balls, rollers and stationary bikes.
The new multi-purpose athletics space is expected to open this fall.
Shop Class is Back
This fall, students will have a dedicated space to learn a craft such as woodwork, metal work or any one of the hands-on projects that characterizes the more traditional shop class. After undergoing a complete retrofit last year, the two-car garage adjacent to Herbst House was soundproofed this summer, and a heating and cooling system were installed. New flooring will withstand the wear and tear of a workshop, and improved lighting allows students to use the entire space.
The new workshop will focus on building with materials. Students will learn to use an arsenal of tools to hammer, saw, measure and drill; play with fasteners and sanding blocks; or solder metal.
The new workshop is expected to open this fall.
Religion Classroom Expands
A religion classroom on the third floor of the the Siboni Arts & Science Center was renovated as part of the science lab project. Walls were moved back to allow seating arrangements to change based on whether students are working individually, collaboratively or having a group discussion. Expanded writable walls give teachers and students the flexibility to move throughout the space.
Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to everyone who pledged their support to seed many of these projects by raising a paddle at Celebrate Spring. If you would like information about naming opportunities for these and other spaces on campus, please contact Sarah Leffert, VP of Advancement.