(COVINGTON, La.) Many students have experienced some expected changes after returning to campus from the Christmas break. Benilde Hall, the three-story Religion, Spanish, and Library building that has faithfully served St. Paul’s since it was completed in 1967, is undergoing changes. Due to dilapidated conditions of both the interior and exterior, the administration has decided to perform a full renovation on the historical building.
As of now, the only classrooms affected are on the east side of the first floor. These include only the classes of Religion IV teacher Roger Bacon, Religion I teacher Christopher Sturgill, Religion IV teacher Jeff Ramon, and Religion 8 teacher Barrett Baumgartner. All of these classes have been relocated to the new gymnasium classroom. After the seniors leave at the end of April, the entire first floor will be vacated and the underclassmen religion classes on the opposite side of Benilde Hall will take the empty senior classrooms around campus. Once cleared, the most significant changes of Benilde Hall will be set into motion.
“I’m in (Mr.)Bacon’s D period religion class, fine guy, we were completely relocated to the gym,” senior Forge Mathes said. “I have to walk further, but it’s a nicer classroom. Hopefully Benilde will be even nicer.”
Not only are there inconveniences in regards to classroom shifts, but also many sidewalks around Benilde have been demolished to make way for changes in the utilities.
“I usually like to walk on that sidewalk directly in front of Benilde, but I can’t anymore, so it takes a few more seconds to get to Mr. Morlas’ class,” senior William James said.
Though these obstacles may make navigating campus slightly more difficult, many students believe the sacrifice is worth what will come of it.
“The old building really needs it. A lot of it is rundown and getting kind of dirty,” Mathes said. “The bathrooms in Benilde are the worst in the school. Walking around the sidewalks makes your journey a little bit longer, but hopefully the new building will be worth it. Although as a senior I will never see it, I’m glad to see the school getting better.”
In addition, ten trees have been cut down to make room for the expansion. Nevertheless, all of these inconveniences are in the name of progress, and the finished product will offer students a newer and nicer learning facility.
“Though I will not be here to utilize the new Benilde,” Mathes said, “I am always happy to see my school improve.”
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For more information on the renovation plans, please click here.
(All photos by Lester Guttuso)