Since taking over as president last year, Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, has set an ambitious agenda to renovate Saint Viator High School. Consider that within his first year, he enhanced the Alumni Memorial Chapel with a new tabernacle, baptismal font, furniture and a pair of historic statues.

First year teachers tour new state-of-the-art classrooms.

He also oversaw the transformation of the former concession area into Burks Place, an informal coffee shop which has turned into a popular gathering place for students.

Now, when school starts next week, students will find a whole new school, literally renovated from top to bottom. For starters, 30 classrooms, eight science labs, the math and language labs, and five department offices all received new flooring, ceilings, lighting and acoustical improvements.

Still to arrive are new white boards, classroom furniture and touch screen TVs that sync up wirelessly to students’ iPads through Apple AirPlay.

The classroom furniture is designed to inspire students – and teachers – with its new state-of-the-art educational environment, with collegial tables and chairs instead of desks.

Fr. Dan Lydon demonstrates the moveable podium allowing teachers to be surrounded by students.

Perhaps the biggest improvement is that the entire building is air conditioned, including all the classrooms, the Jeuck Auditorium, Cahill Gym, hallways and stairwells. At the same time, the Cahill gym received a new roof and work continues to renovate the front lobby of the building, with new lighting and wooden beams across the ceiling.

The dramatic renovation is part of Phase 1 of the Igniting Our Community capital campaign. Upgrading the student experience was identified as the first priority of the campaign. Consequently, all of the improvements have been funded by private donations.

Increasing the endowment fund is the next priority of the campaign, including providing additional tuition assistance through scholarships and offering more professional development and support for faculty members.

Teachers see the new air conditioning system in the Cahill Gym.

Bottom line, Saint Viator remains committed to creating a program of excellence and enthusiasm for its school community.

“At Saint Viator, we want every student to succeed and find the joy of learning,” Fr. Lydon says. “We think our classroom renovations — and the air conditioning — will greatly enhance the student experience at Saint Viator.”