By Stacy Drector
The long-awaited opening of the STEM building at St. Mary’s High School has arrived. Students started classes this week in the spacious facility.
Associate Head of School, David Angeramo, couldn’t be happier with the results. “This is not only a key moment in the school’s history, but it will prepare our current students to see what life is like on a college campus,” said Angeramo. “It is a statement of St. Mary’s that as enrollment increases there is an addition to not only the inside, but the outside as well. The campus, both inside and out, will build community.”
For the past year, students needed to go outside in order to enter the cafeteria and gym, but no more.
Each floor is seamlessly connected to the existing building on each floor with the Dining Commons on the first floor. The new classrooms and labs, with state-of-the-art equipment, along with new tables and chairs, are located on the second and third floors.
“We are able to structure our curriculum to meet the needs of our students,” explained Science and Engineering Department Head Diane Haas, “and we are blessed to move into the new STEM building which will allow us to provide project based learning.” She is very excited that St. Mary’s students will have chemistry labs, the latest technology and hydroponics for current and future students.
The lobby has various sitting areas for students to congregate, quieter areas for studying, and areas to charge their iPads. The new Guidance Suite is an open area for students to research colleges with a space for college representatives to talk to seniors. The Admissions area is a welcoming area for prospective students.
St. Mary’s students love the new building. “It reminded me of the time I dropped my cousin off at college; the classes look just like they did,” remarked Javihan Martinez, a seventh grader.
Maximus Kalis observed that, “When I entered the new building everything felt new and is a fresh new place for learning. It was exciting to enter the building with more education available to students. The lobby that I walked into felt futuristic. When I walked into my science class the room was huge. The building feels like education is going to have an upgrade for more activities and new things to learn.”
“What I’m excited about is the lounging area. It is great just to chill and read a book, or maybe when you’re having a bad day you can talk to someone and relax a little there. I think the new building is a great addition to the school, “ added David Perez, a seventh grader.
Angeramo also noted the installation of the Mosakowski Gardens on the school campus. “When the Gardens are completed in the spring, they will be an outdoor campus of sacred green space where students can gather to study, pray and socialize together,” he said.