School Gets Exciting Renovations
Saint Ursula Academy has three major physical changes in the works. Students and faculty eagerly look forward to a renovated theater, a new art and design center and a redesigned library and media center, all of which will be ready for the upcoming school year.
“This all started around five years ago when we were developing a new strategic plan,” says Jill Cahill, vice president of marketing. “We went through a planning process with the school, the general community and professionals who gave their input.” After identifying the school’s greatest facility needs, SUA looked at existing space that was underutilized and decided to transform those three areas.
The theater was the first space to be finished. Housed in the East Wing, it originally shared the room with a gymnasium built in the 1960s, until a new gym was built in 1999 and the theater grew into the remaining space. “Everything was turned sideways for added seating. There were not ample dressing rooms or space for building sets, and it was difficult to do lighting and production,” Cahill says. Now the stage has been reoriented and expanded, and there are dressing rooms, a high-tech control booth in the back and seating for 250 people.
Next to be completed is the art and design center, which was previously located across the street. “It was large enough,” Cahill says, “but few people got to see the students’ work.” To solve that, the lower level of the main building, just below the student center, has been converted to an art and design wing. Plenty of natural light makes the area perfect, and people can now frequently pass through to look at the artwork.
Work on the library and media center started after school ended in the spring. As Saint Ursula’s student body has grown, the library desperately needed an expansion. “The East Wing’s entire lobby area and three classrooms are being converted to a new library and multimedia space,” Cahill says. Students will have plenty of room to do research, collaborate on group projects and take advantage of new learning opportunities from digital media.
“These three spaces really bring these programs back up to the level of our other facilities,” Cahill says. “It was needed, and we’re really excited to see how teachers and students use them.”
The school invites parents, alumnae, students and the East Walnut Hills community to attend Taste of SUA on August 25, where they can tour the newly renovated areas.
Saint Ursula Academy is located at 1339 East McMillan Street, Cincinnati, OH 45206. For more information, call 513.961.3410 or visit www.saintursula.org.