We are okay with the fact that many of our campus enhancements go mostly unnoticed. That’s because facility maintenance and upgrades get noticed when something has gone awry. When it happens quietly, without fanfare, our facilities can simply be one more tool for delivering the educational experience the girls come to know and love. So, while there was no ribbon cutting, we quietly invested significant resources across our school this past year, almost entirely thanks to the Annual Fund.
Perhaps not surprisingly, safety is the primary driver of most campus updates. Safety was a primary motive in the campus plan to replace three wings of single-pane windows across the school a few years ago. Admittedly, the cost savings for heating through the winter months was also factored in when replacing old windows with new, highly efficient and “earthquake safe” windows and safety blinds for each window. This past year, we completed the project. All the windows, across the school are now modern, safe and efficient. We also replaced the old, obstructed windows in the Auditorium, allowing sliding glass doors. More natural light, better movement of people and much better airflow during major events like Masses, assemblies, Grandparent Day, celebrations and tournaments are hugely beneficial in addition to the safety benefits.
Another project long planned came to fruition this past year. The Sisters of St Ann Legacy Room was completed. As the Sisters age, there was increasing urgency to finalizing a room dedicated to their legacy while they were still able to have input. The converted storage area is part museum, part archive. It represents the front-end completion of a project that was conceived when the Sisters of St Ann sold their Queenswood property to the University of Victoria a few years ago and asked if we wanted archive and museum materials relating to both Little Flower’s early days as well other missions of the Sisters of St. Ann around the province. If you haven’t had the opportunity, you should take a moment to visit the room in the south west corner of the Library next time you’re at the school.
One of our biggest projects completed this year was the replacement of the walkways on the Nanton Street side of the building. Seventy-odd years old and in increasing disrepair, the walkways had become a hazard. The dilapidated pavement was removed and replaced. More than just removing a liability, the job was part of the good stewardship of our campus and reflects the care that we take in maintaining one of our greatest assets.