Construction to start on Rosati-Kain addition

Courtesy of Rosati-Kain High School

Preliminary construction work on expanding and renovating Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis will begin this month.

Work on the new three-story facility connected to the current building will begin with the demolition of the convent building at 216 N. Newstead Ave., scheduled for the end of April with asbestos removal. The demolition will occur about June 2. Construction of the new facility is set to begin on July 7.

The addition, approximately 12,000 square feet, is designed to complement the original architecture and will enhance education, said Sister Joan Andert, SSND, president of Rosati-Kain. The commons area on the first floor will almost triple the space available for functions currently housed in the school library. The space will allow students to collaborate on projects and access resources in a bright, open and creative environment. A new courtyard will have the same effect, she noted.

A chemistry lab on the second floor of the addition will provide more than two times the space of the current lab. The new construction will allow renovation within the original building to include an enlarged physics lab and a digital learning lab and guidance suite. The administrative offices will be moved there from the convent building.

"It gives us a complete campus for operating all functions of the school," Sister Joan said.

The new facility and renovation will provide better collaborative learning for the target enrollment of 400 students and is not meant to increase the size of the student body. Current enrollment is 360.

Rosati-Kain has raised close to $3 million from gifts and pledges toward the approximately $4.5 million addition and renovation, with a loan from the Archdiocese of St. Louis covering the remainder of the cost until more funds are raised. The school has a $250,000 challenge gift from 1975 graduate Cathy Coughlin that matches all new or increased gifts and pledges to the campaign by June 16.

The construction is expected to be completed by the start of the school year in August 2015.

The school is "such a fabric of the Central West End and city," said Mark S. Hugeback, a principal of Mitchell and Hugeback Architects, the firm that did the design. Chairman of Rosati-Kain's President's Council, he noted that a few years ago the windows were replaced with energy-efficient models that provide a more historically accurate appearance. A new HVAC system also was installed.

"It's a well-maintained facility, and we plan to be here another 100 years," he said of the school founded in 1911.

Hugeback and Sister Joan spoke March 26 at one of two construction update meetings school officials and their partners held with the Central West End community and parents of students.

Most of those attending the March 26 session were residents of the neighborhood. School officials stated a desire to be good neighbors, and no one expressed opposition or disappointment with the plans. All permits and approvals to proceed with the construction have been received, including from the city's historic preservation agency.

Construction details

Rosati-Kain will remove the 1960s residential convent and build a three-story, 12,000-square-foot addition to the existing 1920s school building that complements the original architecture and provides:

• A new learning commons area

• A new expanded chemistry lab and research area

• An accessible Newstead Avenue entrance

• An elevator that serves the original building and new facility

• A code-compliant enclosed stairwell

• Expanded courtyard commons

• Communication, safety and education technology upgrades throughout the campus.

Renovation to the existing 1920s building will provide:

• Technology-rich creative digital lab

• Expanded physics lab and research area

• Guidance suite

• Larger religion classrooms

• Cohesive administrative office space

To make a pledge or gift for the "Build the Dream, Live the Legacy" campaign, contact Antonia M. Ponder at (314) 533-8513, ext. 2216, or aponder@rosati-kain.org or see www.rosati-kain.org. 

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