St. Bede Academy renovations retain historic character, modernize campus

As part of the renovation of the north wing, second floor, 49 of St. Bede’s 185 windows will be replaced to provide effective insulation year round. (Provided photo)

PERU — Phase III of the Legacy Project at St. Bede Academy has resumed, bringing with it the promise of 39,460 square feet of renovated teaching and learning space for the 132-year-old building. First up, the north wing of the second floor.

Starting there will allow the students to be in session while the work is done. While all four sections are expected to take between 24 and 36 months, St. Bede officials anticipate that the north wing renovations will be completed by the start of the next school year.

Renovations in the first of four sections at St. Bede Academy in Peru include putting in new flooring and lockers in the hallways. (Provided photo)

In addition to overhauling seven classrooms and creating new space for teacher collaboration, 49 of the school’s 185 windows will be replaced, the hallways will be renovated to include new flooring and lockers, the heating system will be upgraded, and air conditioning will be installed. Plans call for new furnishings and technology, as well.

“We want to preserve and enhance the building’s character, tradition and history,” said Eve Postula, superintendent. “Our goal is to provide continuity between the 21st century learning environment of the Perino Science Center and retaining the iconic character of our beloved Academy building.”

The renovation, which is estimated at an overall cost of more than $5 million, “will combine the best of both worlds with modernization and renovation of existing space,” Postula added.

Construction must be funded for each section before proceeding, with about $1.5 million still needed to complete the project, according to Julia Yaklich, director of mission advancement and major gifts at St. Bede.

“This is a historic time for St. Bede Academy,” she said. “Thanks to the generosity of alumni, donors and special friends who believe in our mission, we are able to begin these much-needed and critically important renovations as our campus continues to be modernized.”

THE LEGACY PROJECT

The first phase of the Legacy Project Campaign included a fire and life safety upgrade and construction of the Gateway Arch in 2015.

The Perino Science Center added 17,500 square feet of learning space and student commons to St. Bede Academy. Ground was broken for the $6.5 million addition in the summer of 2017 and it was dedicated on Aug. 19, 2018.

It includes state-of-the-art laboratories for biology, chemistry and physics and has become the flagship of the academic program, said Postula.

The third phase started in 2019 with modernization of student restroom spaces. A pause during the pandemic didn’t lessen the enthusiasm of alumni, donors and friends of St. Bede, however, allowing the renovations to resume last month.

“The Legacy Project and the renovations to the Academy are truly about the future,” said Abbot Philip Davey, OSB. “It is about ensuring there is always a place for lives to be enriched and transformed for Christ.”

To learn more about what is happening, visit st-bede.com and click on the link for “Legacy Project Academy Renovations” under the “Support” tab, or look for St. Bede Academy on Facebook.

 

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