Construction to begin on Center for Social Impact

Jack Guardiola

Due to a lack of space, outdated facilities, and the Academy Model, Malvern Prep has decided that it’s time for a new building: The Center for Social Impact.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Construction will cost $10.7 million dollars, and  professional fees will add up to an additional $1.5 million.[/perfectpullquote]

This summer the construction of a new building on campus will begin and 18 months after that, the Center for Social Impact will be complete.

Head of School Fr. Donald Reilly, O.S.A.  said that one of the main reasons a new building is needed on campus is that the science facilities are inadequate.

“Currently, the science facilities are not where they should be. And despite the excellent teaching and the patience, they just need a major upgrade,” Reilly said.

The building is named the Center for Social Impact because it will be a hub for integrated learning between science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics, also known as S.T.E.A.M. education according to Director of Financial Affairs, Mr. Theodore Caniglia.

“We’re going to use Catholic social teaching principles in order to guide and instruct how some of the projects that we’re choosing to do, by which we learn not only how to be effective as a group, but be able to appreciate our communication skills, etc,” Reilly said.

Interior view of Center for Social Impact / Provided by Malvern Prep Development Office / More photos online at IMC Construction

Eleventh Grade Academy Leader Mr. Kevin Quinn added that there simply wasn’t enough space on campus to accommodate all of Malvern’s academic and extracurricular needs.

“The perfect example is the robotics workshop. It’s in Alumni [gym], in the basement. Most people don’t know there is a basement in Alumni,” Quinn said. “We’ve had a robotics program for 15 years… We have all kinds of tools in our workshop. That’s a space that we’ve been trying to expand and clean up so that we’d have somewhere to work, but it’s not sufficient.”

Quinn also said that merging Sullivan Hall and Carney Hall will help further Malvern’s Academy Model.

“In our Academy Model we want to bring the disciplines together. So [we would] have projects that are not only English, only social studies, or only science, but have an amalgamation of all of those. So connecting facilities helps to do that,” Quinn said.

According to the website for IMC Construction, the project includes 15,300 square feet of interior renovations and an 18,200 square foot addition that will connect Carney and Sullivan Halls. This “wedge” merging Carney Hall and Sullivan Hall would be the Center for Social Impact.

“That ‘wedge’ would have a top floor, which would have an environmental lab, because that’s the most south-facing direction we can get in this project, and they need a south-facing room to be able to grow plants and things like that. The middle would be a new and refurbished Learning Commons,” Quinn said.

However, Quinn said the Center for Social Impact will not just be a “three story Learning Commons.”

“The floor below that would be a place to work on projects. Part of that space is a workshop and a design and fabrication studio that’s coupled with it,” Quinn said.

Although ‘design’ and ‘fabrication’ are words often associated with the arts department, according to Arts Curriculum Coordinator Mr. Emanuel DelPizzo, conversations regarding the arts in the Center for Social Impact—the “A” in S.T.E.A.M. education—have not yet taken place.

The features don’t stop there. Reilly said there will be a space for the Academy Leaders and a new lecture hall.

“There’ll be a bridge from the parking lot. So it’ll be like you’re walking into a beautiful atrium space. The staircase will be a lecture hall. We don’t really have a lecture hall. If you’re working on projects, you can move tables and chairs to accommodate project participants,” Reilly said.

This project won’t be cheap. Caniglia said the construction will cost $10.7 million dollars. In addition to that, professional fees will add up to $1.5 million dollars.

The project involves two of Malvern’s current buildings as well as the construction of the new Center.

“Keep in mind we’re renovating, gutting [Sullivan], and then we’re remodeling Carney,” Reilly said.

Before. / A. Haylock

Malvern plans to raise the money through donations and fundraising, according to Reilly.

“We have raised more money for this project than we have ever raised in our past. So we’re excited about that,” Reilly said.

The construction on campus will last around 18 months, and then Malvern will have to wait to receive a certificate of occupancy before the building is opened according to Reilly.

During construction, classes and programs in Sullivan Hall will be relocated.

Accommodations are being planned at this time for science classes and the LC,” Reilly stated in an email.

Reilly believes that the Center for Social Impact will be a unique addition to campus. “It’ll be a space like no other space,” he said.