For Others Forever Raises Goal to $45 Million; Villiger Hall Renovation Project Underway
In March, John Marinacci, President of St. Joseph’s Prep, announced that the For Others Forever Campaign had reached the initial goal of $35 million, making it the most successful campaign in school history. With that success and knowing that more was needed, he also announced that the Campaign would be extended to $45 million, enough to fully renovate the classrooms in Villiger Hall and add more to the endowment.
“This success of our Campaign lies in the incredible love that our alumni, parents, and friends have in St. Joseph’s Prep,” says Marinacci who, in his first year as President, got the renovation project underway and helped finish the first phase of the goal for the campaign which was begun during the presidency of Rev. John W. Swope, S.J. ’72. “Our Development Team has had many conversations with others who are eager to support our efforts so we believe that we can reach this new goal and complete the transformation of Villiger Hall by Fall of 2023.”
On March 31, Marinacci was joined by Campaign Co-Chairs Joe Dunn ’65 P ’98, ’02 and Bill McKernan’87 P ’22 ’23, to break ground and begin the renovation. That following Monday, the entrance was closed and work began. First the crews worked in the old library, starting the work to transform it into the Howley Learning Commons. Then, after the Cape and Sword Show finished on May 17, they moved into the Theater to create a new, state-of-the-art space more fitting for our outstanding theatre program.
Work is scheduled to be completed in October and open for use by our students at that time. The new Howley Learning Commons will include:
- The Connelly Counseling and Resource Center will house both our Counseling and College Counseling Departments in one location, creating a space where students can access support for academics, wellness, and college search. This will become a central hub for all student support.
- The newly expanded Prep Advantage Program, established to offer academic support for our students, will be based on the second floor of the Howley Learning Commons.
- The Design and Innovation Centers will enable faculty and students to work together on hands-on projects that cross disciplines– creating deeper learning experiences and encouraging interests in fields such as physics, engineering, math, graphic design, robotics, and art. The space will strategically adjoin the Creative Workshop in the backstage area of the Theatre to better facilitate technical production.
- Virtual Reality Lab will enhance the education of our students, giving faculty the chance to offer expanded learning opportunities. For example, an English teacher can bring students to hear Shakespeare from the Globe Theatre. Science teachers can simulate experiments in ways they could not in real-life lab situations. Modern Language teachers can bring students to see the countries of the language they are learning and Classics teachers can transport students to ancient Rome and Athens. It will also house our new e-sports team and dedicated space for our Robotics Team.
- A Media Center will allow students and faculty to create video and audio projects with new technology. This will especially be useful to students interested in video and audio production as well as students creating technology for classes and projects.
- Study Rooms and Small Group Learning Spaces where students can work together on homework and other assignments.
In addition to the Howley Learning Commons and the new Theatre, the transformation continues with the J. Anthony Hayden ’62 Hall of Excellence where the Prep will celebrate alumni, teachers, and others who have made an impact in our world. The Hall of Excellence will honor those who excelled in various fields of human endeavor and in many walks of life, people who always committed to Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God (Athletics, Mission, Distinction, and Generational Impact).
PHASE 2 of For Others Forever
With the $10 million increase in the For Others Forever Campaign, the Prep plans to continue to increase its endowment and to completely transform the classrooms on the first and second floors of Villiger Hall. The project will provide state-of-the-art technology and instructional equipment, and improvements to the general learning environment to maximize the educational experience for students and faculty. In addition, the Admissions Office will be transformed into a Welcome Center for our prospective students and families.
“Our students, faculty, and staff need facilities that match the incredible work being done by them inside of these walls,” Marinacci says. “The next phase of the For Others Forever Campaign will complete the physical transformation of the interior of Villiger Hall to help achieve that.”
Phase Two will reimagine 21 classrooms and all additional office areas on the first and second floors to complete the work begun with the Maguire Science Wing in 2010.
“The For Others Forever Campaign directly impacts the education of our young men,” says Betsy Courtney P ’08, ’10, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “It is vital for the Prep to continue its mission of forming people of competence, conscience, and compassion for decades to come.”
Marinacci went on to acknowledge the entire Prep community for their incredible generosity during the For Others Forever Campaign and all fundraising efforts. “While this Campaign has been a huge milestone for the Prep, I’d like to thank all alumni, parents, and friends who continue to support the community through The Prep Fund, EITC, and direct contributions to student programs and activities through their annual support. Your generosity impacts our students.”