This semester is a significant one for campus development at Strake Jesuit. The school celebrated the opening of its new STEM building in September, and another building, Hampil Hall, is being demolished to make way for a courtyard.
The STEM building, which is now the largest building on Strake’s campus at 68,000 square feet, includes a variety of specialized facilities. It houses three labs and a lab prep room for each of biology, chemistry, and physics – facilities which allow for broader opportunities in science education. It also contains two computer science labs, an engineering lab, and an engineering computer lab, which provide hands-on experience in engineering fields. Facilities designed specifically for engineering are not widely available in Houston schools, though they are becoming more common, particularly in HISD STEM magnets and top-tier private schools.
Hampil Hall, a classroom building dating back to the early years of Strake, was rendered obsolete by the new classroom space in the STEM building. Demolition of the Hall commenced in early October. Part of the space formerly occupied by Hampil Hall will be used to extend the main quad, while the rest will be converted into an open courtyard with trees and seating areas. Construction on the courtyard is scheduled to be completed by early December.
The new STEM building is the first major construction project at Strake since the conclusion of its The Greater Glory capital campaign in 2009. This capital campaign, which according to the school was the largest such campaign ever undertaken by a Catholic school in Houston, spanned 7 years and raised $5.5 million for the school. 3 of the school’s 14 buildings were constructed or significantly renovated with funds from the campaign, as was the school’s athletic complex.