St. Joseph’s Academy has completed and opened more than 23,000 square feet of campus enhancements at a cost of $7.5 million including the new Weidert Center for Integrated Science and the Sisters of St. Joseph Humanities Hall at the college prep all-girls high school. The new Weidert Center features 12,000 square feet of renovated and upgraded science, engineering and technology lecture and laboratory spaces on the third floor of the main school building. It is named for Barbara Weidert, a 1947 graduate, whose estate made a $3.5 million gift to the school in 2018.
“The Weidert Center for Integrated Science offers a large and innovative new educational environment with state-of-the-art features and technology designed to help prepare our young women for STEM-related careers,” said Regina Mooney, President of St. Joseph’s Academy. “Now we can provide enhanced academic experiences and opportunities for the growing number of our students interested in engineering and related fields. We are very grateful for the overwhelming generosity of Barbara Weidert and many other dedicated donors of the SJA community for their help in making these 21st-century spaces a reality for our girls.”
The $3.5 million gift from the estate of Barbara Weidert is the largest single gift in St. Joseph’s Academy’s ’s 180-year history. This unrestricted gift also jumpstarted the school’s ongoing Expect More Capital Campaign for Every Girl supporting long-range plans to renovate and upgrade HVAC, windows and other instructional areas including a new Visual Arts Center and Studios on the school’s second floor which has been re-named The Sisters of St. Joseph Humanities Hall. A new Campus Ministry Center on the first floor puts St. Joseph’s Academy at the forefront of collaborative faith-filled learning. These projects include another 11,000 square feet of renovation.
The school’s Expect More Capital Campaign has provided the construction funding for these campus enhancements and is also expanding scholarship support for qualified students of all backgrounds. These enhancements are part of the school’s plans to continue providing quality Catholic education and prepare young women with 21st century skills.
“These forward-looking investments prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s careers,” said Craig Hannick, St. Joseph’s Academy Board of Directors Chair. “Reimagined and upgraded facilities advance our holistic education, preparing values-driven leaders, just as our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph, envisioned 180 years ago.”
Construction of the new STEM education facility and visual arts center began in 2019 and was completed in time for the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. Hastings & Chivetta was the project architect and BSI Constructors was the general contractor.
St. Joseph’s Academy is a college preparatory school in Frontenac, Missouri sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Founded in 1840, the mission of the Academy is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.