January 20, 2023
As you commit to re-enrolling your family at St. Mary’s Academy, I would love to share some transformational physical changes across campus you will see at the back-to-school time–or even earlier if you enjoy summer at SMA. It’s part of our commitment to continually provide the best quality educational experience and value to our families. This summer, we’re literally building (ha!) on that promise, with significant construction projects in many buildings and outdoor spaces.
- SMA’s Lower School is getting a face-lift, bringing new finishes and security enhancements to the very first construction project at our Cherry Hills location in 1952. A secure entry vestibule will be added, hallway finishes and lighting will be enhanced, graphics will be added, restrooms will be remodeled, a new exit stair and vestibule will be added to the West End of the building, and two classrooms will be completely renovated. It’s an ambitious plan to serve our ambitious learners and educators.
- In the Middle School, we will complete phase one of planning a state-of-the-art Makerspace and placing an order for STEAM innovator kits. This is part of the major program and schedule enhancements underway in the Middle School.
- Air-conditioning is coming to Bishop Evans Sports Center at the start of summer. Our athletes, summer campers, and PE classes can play under comfortable conditions as early as July 1. Fans in the stands will be cooler, too. This improvement will allow Bishop Evans to be scheduled year-round for SMA-sanctioned activities.
- Approximately 134,000 sq. ft. of new Greenfields Allsport XP/Ultra 45 oz. Athletic Turf will be installed at the West Soccer Field and the Baseball Field, including the infield. The new playing surfaces will be installed over Schmitz Foam Pro Play 23 mm undersurface pad, increasing the safety for SMA Students and Athletes. Lastly, the new playing surfaces will include entirely organic infill properties, including Silica Sand and Amorim Cork. An especially great feature of the new playing surfaces is that the associated water conversation is in line with our Loretto Values. One last benefit is that snow can be readily removed from the playing surfaces, clearing the path for PE, recess, and game days right away. These improvements bring all our playing fields up to the caliber of our showcase Pam Bent Turf Field. The turf project is part of this year's Gala Paddle Raiser. Families and friends will be asked to help make this important project possible through their generosity.
- SMA is pleased to introduce our new Community Gardens project. The schedule calls for these new spaces to be ready for planting this spring. Exciting new curriculum opportunities will be introduced around the gardening spaces.
- SMA’s Pam Bent Field will have a new Daktronics Scoreboard installed over the summer. The new scoreboard and sound system will be installed in time for all of our fall Athletics events. The new sound system will also allow Pam Bent Field to be used for various SMA community events.
This transition year at SMA has provided us with the time, tools, and expertise to act on key initiatives. Roger Brown, V.P. of Operations, has gifted SMA with his leadership, business acumen, and success as a major builder and innovator, starting with the incredible High School STEAM wing finished last summer. We thank Roger for his non-stop work to see all these projects through. Learn more about his vision in my interview with him.
I have other gratitudes to express as our enrollment and re-enrollment cycle nears completion. Every year our community comes together in support of welcoming new students, an effort led by the Admissions (and Marketing) department(s) with the spirited support of our parent and student ambassadors, principals, and teachers who give tours, conduct interviews, host shadow days and rise-up nights, and answer every question big and small as we educate newcomers and remind each other what an incredibly special place we have at SMA. Thank you to every one of you!
All this, and there is more to come. Stay tuned for messages from division principals on program improvements, and watch this space, too.