Catholic schools thrive on tradition and take pride in their rich history. However, when the opportunity to update or even replace the “historic” parts of campus arises, school communities are filled with joy. Updated classrooms, high-speed internet, new infrastructure, and modern architecture are welcomed each summer on school campuses in the Diocese of Phoenix, thanks to the generosity and creativity of Shea Homes.
The most recent campus renovations took place at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Phoenix and Seton Catholic Prep in Chandler. Rose DeFer, Development Director at St. Vincent de Paul, is a graduate, former parent, and long time employee of the school. DeFer shared of the new school building that houses offices, classrooms, and a gym, “This building will help in so many ways. We’ve had four grades in modular buildings for years, so to get all of our students inside classrooms is a big deal. The gymnasium is a dream come true for our coaches, who, combined have over 60 years of service to St. Vincent de Paul.”
In addition to much needed new administrative office space, space is included for a nurse’s office, workspace and technology access for school parents and families, a library, music room, art room, and a STREAM lab. This is the first time in the school’s 65+ years of educating students that a gymnasium for home games and PE as well as a stage for theater performances will be available. Another unique aspect of the new construction is a courtyard with spaces for each grade to plant and maintain a garden.
Seton Catholic Prep celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2020. Seton High School was founded in 1954; sadly, due to a tragic fire in 1980, Seton moved to its current campus location at Ray and Dobson in 1983. Seton experienced some campus growth and construction, including a new chapel in 2008 and, in 2011, a Fine Arts Building that includes many classrooms. However, the majority of classrooms and the administrative offices resided in older buildings in need of upgrades.
The Shea Homes construction project that took place during the summer of 2021 has renovated these academic and administrative spaces. Renovations include a modern, updated administrative space to welcome visitors to campus. Additionally, all classrooms and bathrooms were be updated, and the cafeteria received an overhaul.
According to Principal Victor Serna, “The much-needed renovations of our Historic Campus facilities have created an environment that now matches the superior quality of instruction that one expects at a Catholic Blue Ribbon school like Seton. I am grateful for the generosity of Shea Homes and all of our supporters who donated to this project.” Next summer, the Library/Media Center, front entrance, and campus quad will also be renovated.