Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Plans for Kelleher Hall Unfold for AHA

Demarest, NJ: The upcoming renovation of the convent at Academy of the Holy Angels will provide the entire student body with additional opportunities as enrollment continues to increase.

“I think it’s very important to know that this project will enhance our STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and math) initiatives on campus,” President Melinda Hanlon said. “The creation of a new STREAM Lab will allow us to enhance the engineering program, and the overall renovation project will benefit all members of the school community by adding expanded instructional and meeting space.”

That space will be designed to suit the specific needs of the teachers and will afford students the opportunity to formulate new goals. 

An anonymous donor recently provided the school with a $1 million gift to be used to transform the portion of the school that once housed 40 School Sisters of Notre Dame. The updated wing will be renamed Sister Genevieve Kelleher Hall in honor of the devoted SSND who served AHA from 1948 through 2011. Sister Genevieve, now 93, resides in Wilton, Connecticut. Prior to her retirement, she was the AHA librarian and taught English, French, Religion, Biology, and History.
President Hanlon explained that the plans for the renovation project grew out of a comprehensive facilities plan and evaluation and will address multiple needs.
“We had input from all of our community – students, faculty, parents, and alumnae,” she noted.

The AHA Board of Trustees’ Facilities Committee, which includes President Hanlon and Facilities & Technology Administrator George Ballane, reviewed the school’s program needs. These findings were presented to the project architects at DiCara Rubino Architects, who developed the concept drawings for Kelleher Hall.

At this time, those drawings are being refined.

The first floor of Kelleher Hall will include five educational spaces, including two art studies classrooms, a digital design Mac Lab, and two multi-purpose classrooms. The first floor will also house the faculty office space.

“Moving the art classrooms to Kelleher Hall will open up much-needed homeroom space in the main school building,” President Hanlon explained. 

Plans also call for the refurbishment of the existing chapel, which is used for Religious Studies, the Campus Ministry, and retreats.

The school’s business offices, including the President’s office, the Communications Department, the Finance Department, and the Advancement and Alumnae Office, will be located on the second floor of Kelleher Hall. One large and one small conference room, both of which will be available to the entire school community, will also be part of this space.

“The second floor will also house the SSND Heritage Suite, a gift of the SSND,” President Hanlon reported. “The suite will include the Academy and SSND archives and meeting space for the Campus Ministry and Religious Studies.”

In a recent letter to President Hanlon, Sister Genevieve wrote, “I am thrilled that the conversion of the convent space is finally becoming a reality. I’m looking forward to the blessing of the building.”

That blessing is expected to take place in October 2017.

“We’re scheduled to begin construction in late winter with the goal of completion before the start of the 2017-18 school year,” Ballane said.

AHA recently joined forces with Ruotolo & Associates to launch a Capital Campaign and formed a Campaign Cabinet that will begin meeting this month to begin planning for the public outreach phase of the campaign. 

The second phase of the campaign will include renovations of the performing arts facilities.

AHA students continue to excel in the fine and performing arts. Several Angels have received Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards, and the Helen Hayes Metropolitan Award for performing artists.

For further information regarding the AHA Capital Campaign, contact Director of Advancement Dorrie Voulgaris at (201) 768-7822, Ext. 211.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.



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