Construction Update December 2019

Phase 2 Arts and Innovation Center 

In preparation for Phase 2, it was necessary for many reasons to tear down McVey Hall. We outgrew McVey in every way possible — size, adaptability, and technology. We were able to use the summer months for that demolition project when the rhythm of the School is slower and the operations less complex. In addition, completing the teardown project allowed us to submit permits (an often lengthy approval process) to position us for construction as we raise the remaining funds required to put a shovel in the ground. 

Fundraising Success 

Through the generosity of leadership donors and grants, St. Catherine's has set several School records in fundraising success related to this project:
  • We have raised $23.6 million in three years, a School record that far outpaces the timeline of previous efforts.
  • The overwhelming majority of leadership donors have made their largest gifts to the School — a sign of great confidence and support for the future of St. Catherine's.

Features of the Arts and Innovation Center

Our Phase 2 plans include:  
  • 550-seat, two-story theatre that will allow for flexible seating up to 625
  • Tiered side balconies
  • 56-foot fly tower (theatrical rigging system) that allows for large set designs to be lifted to maximize stage space usage for a variety needs throughout the day 
  • State-of-the-art acoustics, lighting catwalks, and control booth
  • Flexible spaces for teaching, learning, presenting, health and wellness, art galleries, socializing, and community gatherings 
  • Creativity Lab for all divisions that also will be leveraged as a Scene Shop 
  • New stage area is estimated at 2,635 sq. ft. compared to 904 sq. ft. in McVey
  • Gross footage for entire facility expected to exceed 32,000 sq. ft.
 
 

Phase 2 Timing

In order to begin construction on this exciting project, we are required to raise 75 percent of the project cost. We hope to meet this guideline by summer 2020 and to break ground on the Arts and Innovation Center. Our fundraising efforts have great momentum, and we look forward to reaching the next milestone in this exciting capstone project. Once construction begins on Phase 2, the new Arts and Innovation Center should be completed in 18-24 months. Stay tuned for more updates. 

New Traffic Light

In partnership with the City of Richmond, the School participated in a previous traffic study that is now resulting in the installation of a street light at the intersection of Grove and Maple Avenues. Work is expected to be completed soon. When you are in the area, please pay close attention to the new traffic signals and traffic patterns. 

New Maple Avenue Studio 

 
Proving that creative thinking produces innovative results, School leadership reimagined the previous boiler building to become a new studio and classroom for the performing arts. Renovations have just been completed and finishing touches on outdoor landscaping and other furnishings are taking place. New York dance professional and alumna Sarah Burke ’06 swung into town for a Hip Hop workshop for Middle and Upper School dancers. In addition, temporary accommodations have been added on campus to support the Upper School Ampersand scene shop and costume teams. Stay tuned for more information about celebrations and tours of our newest studio space. 

Performance Park in Full Swing

 
With the completion of Phase 1 — Performance Park featuring Julie Dayton Field — this past spring, our newest spaces are getting used daily for athletic competitions, physical education classes, recess, community events, and more. In addition, the expansive new parking lot has greatly benefitted our community. With the addition of the South Parking Lot, more parking spaces have been designated for visitors in the other parking lots across campus.

Restoration of the Green 

 
Following the Phase 1 campus-wide HVAC improvements, the Green is going through a planned revitalization with new sod that was installed in October. It will continue to be fenced off during the winter months to support stronger root growth and will reopen Spring 2020.
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