by ROSEMARIE BINGHAM '18
As the returning women of Saint Ursula Academy ease back into another school year, there are many new architectural advancements to notice and admire. Along with theater and library renovations, the Fine Arts Building (FAB) has been replaced by newly designed classrooms in the previous East/West dining hall. Following up a conservation I had with Mr. Nicaise in October (found here), recently I gained new insight on the renovations, and found out the biggest difference between a building space rather than a single room.
Before the completion of the project, Mr. Nicaise had high expectations. He wanted the rooms to be fully equipped, with enough space for artists of all kinds. Because he was a part of the design process, and had the power to make some of the integral decisions, he was able to ensure that various types of work spaces would be implemented in the plans. Now, there is a Mac computer section for design students, ceramic studios in the back for this high-demand elective, and a beautiful corner housing a plethora of art easels for AP Art students and other inspired painters. There is also a huge amount of space--one of the biggest factors that contributed to the replacement of FAB.
When talking to him last October, I mentioned the sadness some students had to be leaving FAB behind. It is rare to find a high school like Saint Ursula Academy that has a campus style feel, but it is even more rare to have access to buildings that ares so unique and contain so much history and character. Mr. Nicaise agreed that students were upset, but said he “wanted everyone to keep an open mind” and “cherish the new space as much as they love the FAB building.” Now, he is more than pleased to admit that his favorite thing about the new rooms is the excitement the students have about it. Along with this, he likes the unified space, where students have more than enough room to collaborate on projects and share creative ideas. The rooms are also in a more centralized space. This allows all members of the SUA community to experience the creativity of the students. It’s clear that there is much art and design talent at Saint Ursula, and Mr. Nicaise is glad that we now have a space to display all of that. He is proud of the transformation of the spaces, and the positive direction that Art and Design Department is headed because of it.
Please enjoy a before and after of the new area!