Bellarmine Preparatory School, a Jesuit college preparatory school founded in 1928 in Tacoma, WA, will transform its campus with the addition of the Connelly Campus Center dedicated to St. Joan of Arc, set for completion in fall 2016. Construction of the 19,470-sf facility broke ground in late October, thanks to an ongoing fundraising campaign. The Connelly Campus Center replaces the current campus center—built in the 1950s for 300 young men—to support the school’s current reality of 1000 co-ed students. The project is the #1 capital priority for the school, designed to be a social and physical center of the campus, as well as its key gateway for connecting the broader community.
Creating a new “front door” for Bellarmine in its urban setting, the facility consolidates student services into a dynamic hub of social interaction. An interior stair, nestled into the slope of the site, connects layers of student activity, provides enticing perches for student interaction and collaboration, and integrates into the existing terraced campus landscape. Extensive daylighting and natural ventilation further connect the activity of the building to its environment and enhance student activity. The program includes informal student lounge space, activity spaces for student clubs, leadership-focused seminar spaces, a multi-use assembly/cafeteria with capacity for more than 500 students, student-focused administrative offices, counseling offices, and the diversity office. Students engaged in activities such as student government, club leadership and a variety of extracurricular activities will have a dedicated space to gather and connect — a point of integration for diverse groups of students from all over campus, as well as a safe and secure place to gather before and after school.
The Center also provides a true event space for hosting a wide variety of community gatherings and education programs for the broader Bellarmine community, including banquet seating for 300 or more. LMN worked with Bellarmine to develop a long-term master plan, which includes community-enhancing improvements throughout the 42-acre campus.