Soon after the last final exams were taken, workers began demolition in the Biology and Chemistry laboratories. An effort to fund the modernization of those labs was spearheaded at the 2015 Parents' Club Auction back in April through its annual Auction Challenge. The financial support for the project swelled to $215,000, which allowed construction to begin as soon as the academic year ended.
The new lab will showcase a host of improvements, including a setup that will allow students to work in much more sophisticated surroundings, in smaller lab groups, and in a safer environment. The renovations are expected to be completed just in time for the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.
Pictured: a photograph of the Biology Laboratory post-demolition (top) and a rendering of the anticipated laboratory design (bottom).
As usual, the REACH Program has also been quite busy this summer. The REACH Summer Session, a 6-week program, began in early July and wrapped up mid-August.
The session began with Camp REACH, a 3-week academic camp hosted at the University of Scranton. The annual camp provides students with an accelerated academic and a leadership development program. Upon returning from Camp REACH, students continued their summer classes at Regis. In total, 101 REACH students participated in the summer session, and 37 staff and counselors provided them with guidance and instruction.
Pictured: Regis High School's interim President, Rev. James Croghan, S.J., enjoying lunch with 3rd-year REACH students at Camp REACH on the campus of the University of Scranton.
Once again, the summer months provided Regis with the opportunity to raise funds through rental opportunities, a small revenue source that helps support annual fundraising efforts.
"Though Regis has very few sources of revenue, the ability to 'monetize' a well-maintained landmark building provides one small but increasingly important source of income," said Don Allison, Vice President for Finance.
Rentals this past year included providing space to various day camps, sports leagues, and a handful of commercial shoots, including a recent photography shoot for Under Armour in which recognizable parts of the school building served as the backdrop. Past rentals have included movie productions, television shows, and commercials. (Read more: Regis Serves as Backdrop for Upcoming Movie and Television Scenes | September 9, 2013).
During this past year, Regis was able to raise approximately $150,000 through rental opportunities. Over a 3-year span, rental income has allowed Regis to refrain from withdrawing just under $500,000 from the Regis Fund. Given Regis's $13 million annual operating budget, every dollar saved helps Regis continue its mission of providing tuition-free education.
Pictured: Photographs used in an Under Armour catalog taken during a photo shoot hosted at Regis this summer. Photos courtesy Underarmour.com
Finally, despite the summer absence of students and faculty, many members of the Regis staff and administration are busy working at 84th street year-round, and this summer was no exception.
"School buildings without students and faculty are strange places," said Fr. Croghan. "Having a lot of people around during the summer is a regular reminder that we are only ourselves when there's activity in the building."