Student Activities Center
November 12, 2015: Solemn Blessing & Dedication
October 8, 2015: The Day Has Arrived!
What an historic day for the Saint Agnes community! Archbishop Hebda visited Saint Agnes and celebrated Mass with our entire student body. Immediately following Mass, he proceeded to address and bless the students in a ribbon cutting ceremony before allowing them to enter the new Activity Center for the first time. The students were awestruck with the beauty and size of the new addition and are very excited to begin using the activity center.
Though the facility is not completely finished, we will be able to utilize parts of the building beginning with the new gymnasium. There will be a gradual move into the new space in the coming days as classrooms are outfitted, technology is finalized and the main office space is completed.
The formal dedication ceremony is scheduled for November 12 beginning at 9:30 AM. Bishop Cozzens will celebrate Mass, then bless, dedicate, and name the new activity center. Our community will gather that day in thanksgiving to God and to the many benefactors, workers, Saint Agnes employees, and families who have worked so tirelessly these past 16 months to provide Saint Agnes School with this extraordinarily beautiful and student-centered facility.
See the Time Lapse from September 2014 to October 2015
July 30, 2015: Update from Dr. Ferdinandt
The new student activity center continues to progress toward completion. The beautiful “Saint Agnes School” sign just went up over what will be the main entrance to the school. Over the last number of months we’ve had many highs and lows, but overall we’ve been really pleased with how the building is taking shape. At any one time you might see over 70 contractors behind those walls working together toward a common end. Our aggressive timeline had us originally aiming for completion by the start of the upcoming school year.
We will begin using the new activity center as soon as we get occupancy, which our best estimate at this time could be in the latter half of September or the first part of October (if all continues to go well). An occupancy permit for full use of the new wing will depend on successful completion of all parts of the building and, of course, passing city inspections. Feel free to say a prayer or two for our workers and weather – this is construction after all, and it is construction in MN!
Under the Patronage of Mary & Joseph (August 7, 2015)
Statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph were placed above the soon-to-be main entrance of the school.
Written in Stone: School Sign Goes Up (July 22, 2015)
We’re getting there! The Saint Agnes School sign was hoisted into place on Lafond Avenue, marking what will soon become the main entrance. You’ve seen most of the exterior by now, watch your mailboxes in August to learn more about getting a glimpse into the interior!
Window Installation Complete (June, 2015)
The installation of windows for classrooms on first and second floor, the Commons area, and office space was completed in June.
Built from the ground up, there are no lower level classrooms or offices in the new building.
Brick & Mortar Work (May, 2015)
The traditional red brick of Gruden Hall, which was completed in 1939, has been carried over to the exterior of the new building. Brick work began on the facade in late May.
Spring is Here! (April 27, 2015)
With the warmer weather in the spring, contractors were able to make up a portion of the time lost earlier this fall due to contaminated soil and its removal. In recent weeks, we’ve seen cement trucks pouring the slab of the gym floor and 2nd floor classrooms.
Miss a Day, Miss a Lot! (March 6, 2015)
If you haven’t driven by campus recently, things have certainly changed quickly. Less than one month after the first wall went up, the gym and auditorium structures are in place.
Seniors Leave Their Mark (February 17, 2015)
The Class of 2015 took time to stop and sign their names to a cross beam of the new gymnasium.
Shortly thereafter, the beam was lifted into place with their names permanently etched in stone.
The Footings Are In! (December 9, 2014)
Progress continues on the Student Activities Center and we are excited to announce that we are now officially “out of the ground.” Trucks began pouring cement footings on Tuesday, December 9.
Announcement of $16.7M Student Activity Center (June 19, 2014)
Saint Agnes School announced plans for the construction of a new $16.7M student activities center on Thursday, June 19. The new activities center will be located where the high school gymnasium (Bandas Hall) resides, and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015. With increasing enrollment and ongoing facility needs, this center will provide long-term solutions to many of the issues with Bandas Hall that surfaced during our capital campaign.
Issues with Bandas Hall
Bandas Hall was of particular focus during the evaluation of all campus facilities at the time of the Honoring Our Past, Preserving Our Future capital campaign. The issues discovered with Bandas were both numerous and serious, given that one of the major difficulties was irreparable. Here is an overview of the findings that were discovered:
– the drain system was inoperable
– the foundation was cracked
– the roof was compromised
– the gym floor needed to be replaced
These issues were of concern on their own, but they were compounded by the recent successes we’ve celebrated at Saint Agnes School: enrollment has increased by 55.1% since 2007, with a 9% increase this year alone! As the student body increased, so did program demands. Sharing one gym between overlapping sports and activities in grades 5-12 was becoming more problematic. It became clear that a long-term solution was necessary for Bandas Hall.
Student Activity Center Amenities
The new facility will include a double gymnasium, a 400+ seat auditorium, above-ground classrooms for band, choir, visual and performing arts programs, as well as a student commons area that will connect the two primary buildings on campus. In addition, the new building will provide a primary entrance to the school campus that is accessible and well-defined.
Other Links of Interest
Saint Agnes gets donation of $10 million plus, will use to build new activities center (Catholic Spirit, June 20)
Saint Agnes receives $10M donation to build student activity center (St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 19)
Saint Agnes celebrates $10 million gift for new activities center (Star Tribune, June 19)