St. Hubert Catholic School announced the construction of an arts and design center on the school’s campus, as well as partnerships with Manor College and La Salle, where the high school students can earn college credits.
The announcement came at St. Hubert’s 80th anniversary gala, but these projects have been in the works for much longer.
Lizanne Pando, president of St. Hubert, said the arts and design center has been in consideration for six years. The center – which will begin phase I of construction this summer – received the final $225,000 it needed at the gala.
“A lot of research goes into decisions like this. So we have a board of limited jurisdiction, a board of trustees and the archdiocese. When you put forth an idea, you have to research it and back it with the data,” Pando explained.
According to a St. Hubert spokesperson, 40% of the school’s alumnae are in healthcare, and 23% in business. However, Pando said she believes that regardless of what field they choose, St. Hubert students find value in art.
“We have such strong sciences because a lot of the girls go into healthcare,” Pando said. “Everyone six years ago was all about, ‘STEM, STEM, STEM.’ But you can’t pull the arts out of this. We’re so entrenched in the arts. Learners that come into St. Hubert often are very artistic in their approach to their learning, so we made it STEAM.”
The center will take up the first floor of the current St. Hubert school building, and feature various technologies such as embroidery machines, app design tools, art tablets, sound booths, 3D printing, interactive white boards and photo equipment.
In addition to nurturing students’ creativity, St. Hubert plans to help their young women get ahead. By partnering with Manor College and La Salle, St. Hubert can now offer classes in Allied Health and Entrepreneurship for college credit.
Their dual-enrollment system ensures that the students are still getting high school credits for these classes, enabling them to graduate on time and up to a whole semester of college ahead.
“We’re so excited because I feel that, before the pandemic, education at the college level was starting to be questioned in a lot of ways, and what we were seeing was the financial burden was limiting a lot of the options for our students. This will be some fees but not large college fees,” Pando explained.
The classes will be taught on campus, and students will earn a certification in their area of study.
Pando said she believes students will benefit from the support of the St. Hubert structure when students try their first collegiate-level course.
“You’re still with your friends, you’re still going to lacrosse practice and games, you’re still playing basketball, or in the sewing club. You’re still keeping the high school experience alive but you’re really furthering your education and securing it in a way that can get you a career right out of high school, which a lot of students are choosing to do,” she said.
Students who enroll in the Manor program at St. Hubert and then attend Manor College after graduation will have their LPN, or Licensed Practical Nurse degree, in just one year.
“That’s a $45,000 job with insurance. For somebody who is really trying to financially boost themselves, and is going towards nursing, this is an incredible staircase to get them there,” Pando said.
Registration for these partnership programs is complete and the classes are totally full, while the first phase of the arts and design center should be complete in September 2023.