Bishop Kenny students start school with new resources, renovations

Bishop Kenny students start school with new resources, renovations
Technology coordinator Tim Yocum assists student Javier Sowers with an iPad problem at the Genius Bar in the new Demetree Learning Commons.

 

Twelve hundred Bishop Kenny High School students returned to school last month to the $1.6 million building and renovation project which had impacted much of the school’s 55-acre campus over the summer vacation.

Father Michael Houle, president of the school shared, “We are so pleased with this summer’s projects – most especially because of the diverse nature of the improvements and additions that have been made. We’ve impacted the academic and technology programs, the arts, our stadium facilities, and even the lobby area where visitors to campus are welcomed.”

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The Learning Commons includes space to relax and read or do quiet work, and has a multi-media room for training sessions, plus worktables designed to promote collaborative work.

The Demetree Learning Commons, located on the site of the original school library is a redesigned learning and technology headquarters for students. Bishop Kenny Principal Todd Orlando explained, “This state-of-the-art facility supports the development of the 21st century skill set that we are committed to imparting to all of our students. It is the perfect complement to our 1:1 iPad initiative, now in its second year.” Although all students use iPads, the technology center provides PC workstations for students who prefer a full keyboard and larger screen or need to print a document, according to media specialist Kate Moody.

A surplus classroom located in close proximity to the art studio has been transformed into a permanent art gallery, with movable walls. This new facility provides an opportunity for student art to be displayed throughout the year and underscores BK’s commitment to supporting students who are interested in the arts. Orlando added, “The gallery and the Carla Harris Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2011, offerwonderful opportunities for our students to be exposed to the arts.”

William Johnston Stadium, home to the Bishop Kenny Crusaders, has also undergone a substantial makeover that will have a positive impact on every athlete and spectator that uses the stadium for many generations to come. A press box nearly three times the size of the previous one, complete with all of the wiring necessary to facilitate live radio broadcasts and the live streaming ofCrusader action on the field, has been added to the stadium. All new men’sand women’s restroom facilities, designed to accommodate even BK’s largest events, have been completed, along with a new concession facility.

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Well-lit and beautifully landscaped patio spaces complete the picture of the newly renovated riverfront sports complex. Bishop Felipe Estévez blessed and dedicated the new stadium facilities at the Crusader season opener on Aug. 29 against Bartram Trail High School.

By Kate A. Hallock

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