In April, the Academy celebrated the opening of the 40,000-square-foot, $12.5 million Bailey Family Center for the Arts. The Center features a 350-seat theatre and a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment. The new facility provides a dedicated space for the arts, allowing the school to enhance its offerings and honor the Sister of the Holy Names’ longstanding devotion to art, music and theatre. Courses will include visual, dance and instrumental offerings, as well as acting and technical theatre, permitting students multi-day production runs and providing a professional theatre experience.
According to Academy President Art Raimo, “As we developed a facilities master plan in 2014, there was a need to grow our arts program, particularly in the high school. Part of the effort involved hiring additional faculty and staff, but also creating an appropriate space that was consistent with the school’s mission. The Center provides a space that meets 21st century standards and allows our students to create and to perform.”
Middle school acting teacher Kelly Hoffman is excited to add a technical arm to her curriculum. “Being able to offer a technical theatre class is a wonderful opportunity for our middle schoolers to experience real-world theatre in an educational setting. They will be able to take this information into high school, community theatres, and beyond,” she said.
High school performing arts faculty member Vivian Kimbler feels the space itself will improve student learning. “As an educator, I want my students to succeed and receive the best instruction possible. Although lesson plans and educational goals are the foundation of learning, the environment also plays a strong role in the success and support of every student. Materials, décor, furniture, nutrition, positivity, consistency, and clear rules and expectations are all facets of a productive student learning experience and effective classroom setup. With the completion of the Center, our students have all the tools at their fingertips to succeed!”
Significant gifts that made construction possible include Barbara and Anthony Scarpo ($1.35 million), the Bailey Family Foundation ($1 million), and $500,000 from the Yodzis Family, Kathy and Ray Hyer, and Ruth and Fred Lynch.