When Regians arrived in September for the start of 2019-2020 academic year, two of the most commonly used spaces in the school looked quite different. Each summer, with students and faculty mostly absent, work is done at Regis to maintain our historic building and enhance spaces for our students. This year, among other projects, the Locker Room and the 5th floor Lecture Hall were completely renovated.
The generosity of the Regis family made both updates possible. Each year at the annual Parents’ Club Auction, a new Auction Challenge is unveiled, identifying an important project or two for the school to undertake and asking the attendees for their support. The assembled Regis parents, alumni parents, and members of the Regis community responded by contributing more than $220,000 to support these two 2019 initiatives.
“Once again, our Auction Challenge donors rose to the occasion to provide us with the funds to make these much-needed improvements,” Regis President Fr. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ, said. “Generations of Regis students will benefit from their remarkable generosity.”
All those who donated to the Auction Challenge were invited to attend the official unveiling of the renovations on September 18. At the reception, Fr. Lahart expressed his gratitude and blessed the spaces.
“We dedicate these new spaces as part of our education of the youth to the progress of science and learning and healthy mind and body,” he prayed. “May these spaces within this building continue to center our students and our teachers, and help to imbue them with words of truth and search for wisdom and God’s Christian life, and we strive wholeheartedly to stand by Christ our teacher, He who lives and reigns forever and ever.”
In the Locker Room, the construction team removed all existing lockers and installed 550 new, two-tiered lockers on new cinderblock bases, creating built-in benches on which students can sit. The gray lockers are surrounded by red borders, giving the Locker Room a more distinctly Regis feel. A new floor and new overhead lighting helps create a more welcoming environment for Regians.
The Lecture Hall, commonly referred to as the Physics Lecture Hall in the past, also received a complete revamping. The classic desks were removed and replaced by 160 theater-style red seats. (Regis made the removed desks available for purchase, and nostalgic alumni and parents jumped at the chance to own a piece of school history, purchasing them all.) The old chalkboards made way for modern whiteboards, and a new audiovisual system was installed. The updated room is more versatile and comfortable for the many classes held inside it each day, and it now serves as another wonderful location to host Regis events.
The Locker Room and Lecture Hall weren’t the only rooms in the building to get a makeover this summer. In May, a small electrical fire broke out in the Science Research Project Room. Thanks to the work of the New York City Fire Department, no one was injured and the damage remained relatively contained, but it needed to be completely gutted and refurbished. The room directly below it sustained water damage, and as part of the necessary clean-up, new whiteboards and an updated audiovisual system were installed.
“Regis is blessed with a beautiful landmark building,” Fr. Lahart said. “As we care for it and make needed enhancements, we remain so very grateful for all those who make these updates — and all that we do here on 84th Street — possible.”