I hope you and yours have fully thawed from the icy cold weather we had at the start of the year – it almost felt like I was back in Canada!

At this time, I am pleased to share this exciting update on our master plan implementation.

4500Forever Finish Strong – New Project Phasing and Sequencing

As you may be aware, when St. Thomas purchased the High School for Law Enforcement next door, we entered into a sale and leaseback arrangement with HISD.

HISD has wavered repeatedly in terms of giving us an occupation date for the Joplin Campus.  Contractually they can remain until December 2019, so we have decided to go ahead with what we can control on our Main Campus.

Phase I

We are very proud to announce our updated project implementation strategy whichremains consistent with our top three master plan priorities – science programming and STEM lab development; student center; and greenspace redevelopment.  Phase I of the construction and renovation work has already begun.

By the end of February, a new Lacrosse Wall will be in place and our players will be able to begin practicing earlier than ever before. In March, the construction of seven new Science labs will commence, including Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Earth Science, as well as a state of the art STEM/Maker-Space lab. With more than 9,000 square feet of enhancements, our students and faculty will enjoy cutting-edge science facilities.

Later this spring, the Priest Residence will be transformed into a multi-use space, to be anchored by the Advancement, Alumni and Communications offices. A new STH Spirit Store, meeting spaces for parents, staff, alumni, and students will also be located in the building. A new outdoor patio will offer a unique social space for our seniors, parents, and alumni.

Once improvements to the Priest Residence are complete (projected for August 2018), Mary Moody Hall will be renovated to create a much-needed Student Center. The Student Center will provide a key social and recreational hub on campus.

Phase II

Once the Joplin Campus is available, the next phase will begin and focus on greenspace development, which will improve our facilities for our varsity and intramural athletes and greatly enhance the overall student experience.

In the meantime, our 4500Forever Finish Strong campaign leadership will continue to reach out to our current families and alumni. On behalf of our campaign chairs Amy and Bo Huggins and the campaign committee, I ask each of you to prayerfully consider the role you would like to play as we complete the final lap of our $12 million campaign.

Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB