Chaminade High School is nearing completion of a $23 million science and technology center that leaders of the all-male Catholic school in Mineola said will be the first of its kind in the region.
The 34,000-square-foot facility will include high-tech items such as an Anatomage digital anatomy table, 3-D scanners and printers, computerized lab probes, a Foucault pendulum, an observatory and a hydrodynamics simulator.
Seven separate labs will be available for biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, Science Olympiad, research, and fabrication and robotics.
The center, four years in the making, “is going to bring Chaminade to the next level of providing the very best in academic Catholic education,” Brother Thomas Cleary, president of Chaminade, said Thursday during a tour of the facility, which still is under construction. “It’s wonderful to finally see this dream come to fruition.”
Officials at the 1,700-student school, which has grades nine through 12, expect the center to open by the spring, possibly as early as March.
It is the latest effort by a Catholic high school on Long Island to upgrade its science, technology, engineering and mathematics program, known as STEM.
St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington recently completed a $10 million overhaul of its science center, which includes one of the Anatomage tables where students can “operate” on a virtual reality cadaver.
St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay opened a STEM center in a former convent in 2012 with a $7.5 million grant from an anonymous donor.
Cleary said Chaminade is carrying out a $20 million capital campaign to pay for the center, and has raised $15.5 million so far from alumni, parents of students, supporters of the school and others.
The remaining $3 million of the total cost will come from the school’s operating budget or other money that was set aside, he said.
Chaminade, which opened in 1930 and is operated by the Marianist brothers, has long provided a liberal arts-based education. Robert Paul, assistant principal for academics and a former science teacher, said it was time to bolster the science program.
“What we’ve taken from our alums, recent alums, this was an area of our academic program that we needed to do a better job with, and we are,” Paul said. “I think it’s going to allow us to get up to speed with those facilities” in other high schools that are advanced and “is going to push us past them. . . . We caught up, and we’ve gone beyond.”
The center generated rave reviews from some students, who said it will usher in a new era of achievement in their science studies.
“I think it is incredible,” said Aidan Fitzgerald, 17, a senior from Garden City. “I am really jealous of all the freshmen right now and all the future Chaminade men who get to use this incredible building for four years.”
He added, “I think the extracurricular activities in science are going to go to a whole new level.”