Updated: August 2021
Over the last few months Stuart has been bustling with summer campers while our staff tackled our largest renovation project to-date - the transformation of our Dining Center into our new Student Center. This new space will come on-line in October and will truly enhance our students’ dining and learning experience! The renovation has included:
- An enlarged and dynamic place with a Cafe nook, Teaching Kitchen, informal amphitheater seating and a collaborative work area.
- Food stations that will reduce lines and waiting, engage students with preparation, and bring our beloved kitchen staff into the space and activity.
- Views throughout that connect the Zen Garden and other outdoor areas to the indoor spaces. You’ll be surprised by how bright and open the space feels!
- A state-of-the-art, handicap accessible Conference Room that will allow student groups to meet during lunch and other groups such as SPA ease of accessibility and connectedness to the Stuart experience. The space also includes two new, handicap accessible restrooms.
- Fun, flexible furnishings that allow easy transformation of the space, promoting social events such as dances, dinners and meetings.
- Sustainable design and construction practices that follow many USGBC LEED principles and create a healthy and energy efficient environment. This includes new HVAC systems with air conditioning, efficient LED lighting, high performance window systems, and careful material selections.
- As with all Stuart’s modernizations, the renovations are very respectful of our unique architectural wonder, the green brick, pebbled concrete and abundance of daylight. The new Student Center builds on the legacy of architect Jean Labatut, and his special concepts and design for Stuart.
We are delighted to share exciting summer renovation news. It will be our most ambitious project in over 15 years and will transform our current dining center into the new and expanded Stuart Student Center.
The Stuart Student Center (renderings shown below) will provide our students with a versatile, state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility intentionally designed to meet the dining, socializing, teaching and conferencing needs of our students across every developmental stage. This new center will be 7,400 sq. ft. (an increase of 2,300 from the existing dining area and kitchen) and will offer cafe-style seating, collaborative dining and classroom spaces, an amphitheater designed as a teaching kitchen, and a partitionable conference area. In keeping with our commitment to sustainability practices, the Stuart Student Center will also include energy-efficient windows, an HVAC system, and an ionization system. This renovation will also include renovations to our Early Childhood classrooms in the C-Corridor to include both an academic and gross motor space to better serve our youngest students.
This is our largest capital project at Stuart in over a decade, and it comes on the heels of the most challenging year in our school’s history. It has been a year worth remembering on so many levels. Never have we experienced the power of our Sacred Heart community (even from a distance) as we have during 2020 and 2021. In remembrance and celebration, we will be memorializing this new space by including a time capsule of our experiences over these pandemic months. Each division will offer students opportunities to participate in creating artifacts for our Stuart Time Capsule. We also welcome all members of our adult community to participate in this initiative by submitting a brief reflection for inclusion in the capsule here.
The Stuart Student Center has been years in the making. It would not have been possible without the foresight of past and current trustees and their annual accrual of critical funds to support key components of this renovation. In addition, the scope of this renovation has been greatly augmented and enhanced by several generous donors.
If you are interested in learning more about this project and naming opportunities, please contact Christen Jones, Director of Institutional Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.921.6101.