On the evening of September 5, parents and friends of Regis gathered at 84th Street to attend a reception at which three recently-renovated classrooms were unveiled and blessed. The renovation work was made possible through their generosity towards the 2018 Parents Auction Challenge last March, which raised over $192,000. The renovations took place over the summer and were completed on time and on budget.
As the guests arrived, they were ushered up to rooms 303, 403, and 503—the three brand new “classrooms of the future". Once there, Rev. Anthony D. Andreassi, CO (Interim Principal), Samantha Lehn (Assistant Principal for Academics), and James Kennedy '02 (Director of Development) were available to answer questions and give demonstrations of the new classroom features.
This summer, the rooms were outfitted with brand new desks (tandem tables in 503, mobile pods in 403, and single tables in 303), as well as wall-to-wall white boards, brand new projectors, and enhanced lighting with more controls for the faculty. The varied learning environments and furniture will allow different teachers and departments to assess what kind of set-up is ideal for their needs.
These are also the only classrooms in the building to now feature HVAC—particularly helpful last night as temperatures soared to 94 degrees Fahrenheit. They will also significantly benefit the REACH Program and its students, who use the Regis building for three weeks in August.
“I wish they had these rooms when I was a student here," said one donor, also an alumnus. The guests were able to sit in the desks and envision what it might be like to have class in one of these spaces. The responses were overwhelmingly positive. “These rooms look absolutely great," added an other supporter.
“The classroom updates made possible the Auction Challenge fundraiser are really exciting," said James Kennedy '02, Director of Development. “As a former teacher myself, I’m especially excited for faculty members to test out these new academic spaces and share their feedback. I’m even more excited about renovations and other facilities projects that are ahead."
The renovated classrooms represent the beginning of an ongoing effort to revamp the learning environment in the building, with plans for further updates also in the works. “Even since my time as a student at Regis, the classrooms have not changed all that much. I'm grateful for the supporters who are helping us take this step forward," Kennedy added.
Following the tour of the remodeled learning spaces, the donors were invited to a reception to thank them for their generosity. After enjoying some food and drinks, Rev. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ, president of Regis, blessed the building and the new classrooms. “Today we ask God's blessing on the school, and especially on our three new classrooms," he said, leading guests in prayer. “God, it is by your gracious favor that we inaugurate these new classrooms, and we ask your blessing on this school year."
"The new seating, along with the ability to write everywhere, really helps breed a sense of collaboration," says Jacob Kaiserman '19. "It's exciting that—instead of just being lectured to—we can actually lead in the classroom, and the new spaces foster that."