Restoration work continues at St. Bede Academy in Peru

Phase 3 is a more than $5 million capital project to renovate the academy

A rendering depicts the updated first floor main historic stairwell and hallway entrance at St. Bede Academy in Peru.

Work has started on the north wing of the second floor of St. Bede Academy in Peru with the first of four sections that will be renovated as part of the ongoing, long-range capital improvement plan, titled The Legacy Project.

This announcement marks the continuation of Phase 3, a more than $5 million capital project to renovate the academy.

The Phase 3 Academy Renovation project follows the fire and life safety upgrade and construction of the Gateway Arch of Phase 1 in 2015, and the Perino Science Center Addition of Phase 2 completed in 2018.

Phase 3 started in 2019 with the modernization of all student restroom spaces. Renovations will resume in 2022 following plans to renovate and upgrade nearly 40,000 square feet of teaching and learning space of the first and second floors of the academy building in the next 24 to 36 months.

Work will be completed in quadrants beginning on the second floor. It will address deferred maintenance issues, and energy inefficiencies the building has faced for decades, but it also will go beyond that. The upgrades to the building will be state-of-the-art featuring collaborative and flexible spaces. The work on this first of four sections is expected to take seven months and is slated for completion in time for the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

Superintendent Eve Postula said the renovation of the 132-year-old academy building required the same ingenuity as the Perino Science Center when it was built.

“We want to preserve and enhance the building’s character, tradition and history,” Postula said in a press release. “Our goal is to provide continuity between the 21st century learning environment of the Perino Science Center and retaining the iconic character of our beloved Academy building.”

The renovation was designed with the help of a local architectural firm that specializes in historical preservation and contractors familiar with the academy building.

Postula said the renovation “will combine the best of both worlds with modernization and renovation of existing space.”

“This is a historic time for St. Bede Academy.” said Julia Yaklich, director of mission advancement and major gifts. “Thanks to the generosity of alumni, donors and special friends who believe in our mission, we are able to begin these much needed and critically important renovations as our campus continues to be modernized.”

“The generosity of our St. Bede community is clearly apparent. To date, the campaign for the academy renovations has secured funding of $4 million with $1.5 million needed to complete the project.”

“This exciting new beginning and renewal for the academy building rests with the commitment and trust of our donors and the SBA community” Yaklich said. “They are passionate about St. Bede’s future and their support is a testament of the confidence and pride they have for what our faculty is accomplishing with our students. We are grateful for the commitment from our donors that an investment in our capital campaign is an investment in our students and our future.”

Postula cited how the design will benefit current and future students.

Specific renovations in the first section in the next 7 months include:

  • Seven classrooms will be overhauled and a new teacher collaboration space will be added.
  • Work will include infrastructure upgrades including lighting, heating, cooling, electrical and 49 new windows.
  • New lockers will be installed as well as new classroom furnishings and technology.

“This long-awaited transformation will benefit our students today and, in the future,” said Abbot Philip Davey, OSB. “The Legacy Project and the renovations to the academy is truly about the future. It is about ensuring there is always a place for lives to be enriched and transformed for Christ.”

More about the Academy renovations can be found on St. Bede’s website and the St. Bede Academy Facebook page.