St. Mary's Academy begins demolition of recently purchased property; looks forward to doubling the school's footprint in downtown Portland
Portland, Ore. - St. Mary's Academy has started demolition of the former University Station post office, purchased by the all-girls college-preparatory high school in September of 2013. St. Mary's Academy has had a presence in the downtown area of Portland since 1859 and the addition of this city block, located adjacent to the current school building, will double the school's footprint.
"An expanded campus is intended to meet the need for program expansion and the increasing demand and interest in a St. Mary's Academy education. Our vision for campus expansion is the creation of a dynamic, state of the art facility to continue to develop young women as leaders, thinkers and creators. We are incredibly fortunate that this city block came available when it did," said St. Mary's Academy President Christina Friedhoff.
St. Mary's Academy is working with Portland-based GBD Architects and Shiels Obletz Johnsen, Inc. to determine the best way to develop enhanced space for science and technology, athletics, arts, new classrooms and possible community partnerships. GBD Architects is studying the needs of St. Mary's Academy in great depth to consider how the existing building and new building can be developed to meet the future needs of the school.
The expansion will focus on flexible classrooms to support collaboration and innovative learning strategies; technology labs and makerspaces; premiere athletic facilities; and fine and performing arts spaces. The expansion may also include a living history center for the school's rich Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary heritage. The additional capacity presented by the purchased property also offers the opportunity to pursue creative development partnerships. A wide range of development options are being considered.
In May of 2015, St. Mary's Academy will host a forum where experts will speak about the future of education, workforce and development in downtown Portland. The school hopes that these conversations will shed light on trends in education and generate innovative strategies that may inform the direction of its campus expansion.
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St. Mary's Academy is a Catholic high school for young women located in the heart of downtown Portland that provides a challenging college-preparatory education with a focus on developing the whole person. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary's Academy is Oregon's oldest continuously operating secondary school and offers a supportive learning environment to a diverse student body from more than 35 cities in urban, suburban and rural Oregon and Southwest Washington. For more information about St. Mary's Academy, please visit www.stmaryspdx.org.