construction begins for loyola hall
Nicolas Valladolid ’23
Strake Jesuit has broken ground on a new building, Loyola Hall.
For Strake Jesuit, this is the first new building since the addition of Agee Hall. The SJ campus has started to feel cramped with the rapidly growing student population, so the administration decided to add more space to the campus. The new building is set to add more classrooms for the students and bigger offices for the faculty.
“The current classroom utilization rate is 98%,” Mr. Lawrence, Strake Jesuit’s Director of Operations, said. “The project adds 300 badly needed parking spaces, 19 additional classrooms, and more offices for faculty and staff administrators on the third floor.”
To accommodate all of these new additions, the new building is planned to take up the rugby field in front of the Parsley Center and will be massive.
“In addition to the new classrooms, the new building is set to be 78,000 square feet and will be 3 stories tall,” Mr Lawrence said. “The building will also include a new lobby and entrance for the school”.
This massive project has been in the works for a while and thankfully, Covid has had little impact on the planning and construction process thus far.
“We’ve been in the engineering and procurement phases the past year and those have been able to proceed as planned with a lot of Zoom meetings” Mr Lawrence said. “Construction will proceed with the needed Covid 19 procedures in December 2020 and will be completed in January 2022. We are still set to have a groundbreaking ceremony on December 7th.”
When the building is completed in January 2022, students will be able to have a variety of classes there. In addition to this, the new building will give departments that lack space right now ample space to overflow.
“Already, many social studies classes have been scheduled to take place in the new building,” Mr. Norkus, Assistant Principal for Academics, said. “Besides social studies, I’m sure there will be some overflow English and Foreign Language classes in addition to strategically scheduled classes from other departments.”
The new space for classes will benefit each student’s experience at Strake Jesuit.
“The new building offers us the ability to create more sections of our classes and thus reduce class sizes,” Mr Norkus said. “This will involve increasing the size of our faculty so it will need to be done very thoughtfully and slowly.But, building will have no bearing on the number of students in future incoming classes.”
The new building marks an exciting moment in Strake Jesuit’s history with many great additions to come.
“In addition to the administrative office and lobby spaces,” Mr. Nokrus said, “the building will have a large amount of student seating throughout the first two floors, a welcoming multi-tiered outdoor patio area, several classrooms with collapsible walls which can be combined into a large gathering space, dynamic conference room, instructional coaches’ offices and collaboration area, academic and personal counselors’ office space, new spirit store, main entrance and check-in location for visitors, dedicated faculty and staff area, and new Dean of Students and Admissions spaces. Needless to say, we are very excited!”