As it closes the Chromebook on one of the most unique and memorable school years in its history, Brother Rice High School in Chicago looks forward to a summer full of improvements. As Chicagoans know, with summer comes construction season, and, this year, the corner of 99th and Pulaski is no exception.
Indeed, as the cranes and bulldozers can attest, “Phase One” of Brother Rice High School’s Heed the Call Campaign is in full swing.
“Over two years ago, we began to assess our needs—ranging from our physical plant to facility improvement—to enhance our student experience,” says Brother Rice President Mark Donahue. “Despite the onset of the pandemic, we have successfully started this process.”
Already finished are the installation of new athletic turf on the field at Coach Tom Mitchell Field at Gary Little Stadium, a fresh look for the faculty lounge, and the renovation of the Brother Rice chapel and sanctuary. Now comes the heavy equipment.
“We’ve completed three projects and have broken ground on our largest to date, our North Campus improvement,” Donahue continues. This includes a complete demolition and rebuild of the north parking lot with modernized water management, enhanced lighting, new landscaping, and permanent monument signage.
On June 9, 2021, Donahue joined members of G3 Construction, which include two Crusader alums Ryan Martin ‘10 and Jack Sullivan ‘07, Alderman Matt O’Shea, Brother Rice Principal Bob Alberts, Brother Rice Board Chairman Jim Kramer, and other Brother Rice staff as they donned their hard hats and shovels to officially break ground on the north parking lot construction.
“I am pleased to see the North Campus project underway,” states Kramer. “It is another step in the continuous improvement of Brother Rice. This will allow us to better serve our students, parents, and guests, as well as improve our ‘curb appeal’ to our community. This project reaffirms our commitment to the future of Brother Rice High School at 99th and Pulaski.”
The renovations are a direct product of the Heed the Call campaign, the Brother Rice community’s strategic plan to ensure it is well-positioned to provide the young men of Chicago with an exceptional high school experience. The five-year, $11 million capital campaign has three phases that outline improvements to multiple aspects of the campus and of student life. The guiding principle is that, combined with facilities and curriculum consistent with Brother Rice’s best-in-class Catholic high school education, “the opportunity to experience a Brother Rice education should be accessible and affordable to all.”
Looking forward, Donahue relates that “Phase Two” and “Phase Three” of Heed the Call will allow for even more positive implementations. Plans for the transition of the current library to a student activity and innovation center; for classroom renovations, with a new eSports room to be completed this summer; for more athletics fields upgrades, including the reorienting of George Sedlacek Baseball Field and the beautification of the Mitchell Courtyard; for an expansion of the student counseling center and its resources, and for a refreshed look for the Carmody Center cafeteria are all in the works.
“Our academic, athletic, and student club activities provide for the leading high school experience for boys. Our Heed The Call campaign will ensure Brother Rice High School is the leading destination for boys seeking a premier education and experience at an all-boys school.”
For more information on Heed the Call, check out https://www.brotherrice.org/capital-campaign.