Bishop Gerald Barnes blessed the new 2,700 square foot building that houses a STREAM Lab (Science-Technology-Religion-Engineering-Art-Math). School Principal Ann Meier and Father Miguel Ceja, Pastor, helped lead the event. They were joined by Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, Riverside Councilman Mike Soubirous and representatives from state and federal lawmakers.
“We are taking our students to the next level,” Meier said of the new facility. “This is part of our commitment to empower 21st Century learners.”
The new building is divided into two classrooms, the STREAM Lab and a new seventh grade classroom/science lab. Students will be able to work on projects related to science, engineering, mathematics and art, aided by technologically equipped amenities, and to leave them there as they continue to refine them.
Bailey praised the school for its faithful witness. “We appreciate the light that you’re shining through your faith.”
The project was six years in the making, with actual construction taking about 12 months. The cost of design and construction was $1.4 million, with $1.1 million of that amount funded by the Shea Foundation.
Meier said she hopes the new STREAM facility will have a marketing benefit, causing families to give stronger consideration to sending their children to OLPH School. Early signs of this are already apparent. “For the first time in years we have waiting lists,” she says.
Bishop Barnes took a few minutes to speak to OLPH students during his remarks at the dedication event. He encouraged them to look at the new facility and its technology as a tool they can use toward a larger pursuit.
“The most important thing is how you are building yourself,” he said. “How are you learning?”