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School News

Academy Celebrates Groundbreaking
Posted 12/20/2017 02:00PM

The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, Villanova, officially broke ground on its new 30,000 square foot Center for STEM Education at a ceremony on December 20. The state-of-the-art facility incorporates the latest technology and teaching/learning environments for study of the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Notre Dame’s President, Dr. Judith A. Dwyer welcomed guests, students, faculty and staff from the Academy’s Rose Garden, a core element of the new Center’s design. “Today we mark yet another milestone in the history of Notre Dame. Our new Center for STEM Education embodies educational space that inspires, providing an intellectual energy and the aspiration to push boundaries of learning. The Center emphasizes the ability of STEM designs and products to heal and enhance the quality of life throughout the world.”
The new facility is a pivotal element of Notre Dame’s five-year strategic vision and campus master plan, approved by the Board of Trustees in 2015. Implementation of the campus master plan is occurring in three phases, supported by fundraising through the Academy’s “Our Time to Inspire” campaign.
The first phase included an upgrade to Notre Dame’s athletic facilities in 2014-15. The second phase began in 2016 with exterior restoration of the Academy’s iconic Mansion. In April 2017, the Academy’s Board voted to move forward with construction of the Center for STEM Education.
The new Center will include technology enabled active learning (TEAL) environments that include eight science laboratories, three lab prep rooms, eight mathematics classrooms, a design thinking and entrepreneurship classroom and labs dedicated to design and innovation, robotics and coding.
George Van Kula, Chair of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees, offered his gratitude to school administrators, faculty, members of the Academy’s STEM Strategic Council, leaders of the Academy’s capital campaign, and donors, “We are grateful to all who have made extremely generous contributions to help make this part of our strategic vision a reality. Our new STEM Center will play a critical role in developing the skills students need to become STEM leaders, while our Catholic faith tradition will guide them as they apply those skills with compassion and justice.”
Co-Chair of the STEM Strategic Council, Brian McNeill, added, “Today we break new ground in expanding the world of possibilities for our students and teachers. You will be fully prepared to face your future with an unshakable set of core values and a clear pathway to leverage your education in any field you choose to pursue.”
Following a blessing by Father Robert Hagan, O.S.A., campaign leaders and student and faculty representatives joined President Dwyer and Board Chair Van Kula to mark the event with ceremonial shovels in the ground.

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