St. Rose High School library boasts new computers, study lab
By Haley Cafarella | Correspondent
For years, students in St. Rose High School, Belmar, have been able to learn, grow and travel the world by cracking open a book in the school’s library.
But thanks to almost $400,000 in donations, students can now turn those travels into a reality – a virtual reality – and expand their studies through distance learning.
In a ceremony attended by diocesan and town officials, clergy and alumni – and live streamed by students of the school’s daily morning show, St. Rose Live – St. Rose High School unveiled its newly equipped and constructed Ottilie R. King Library as 2016 drew to a close.
Upgrades to the library include new computers and the “Maker’s Space,” which allows students to take online courses for college credit through the school’s distance learning partnership with various colleges. The new technology in the Maker’s Space includes 3D printers, and the space will allow students to work on group projects and embark on virtual reality field trips.
The library is a positive reflection of the Diocese as a whole, because it shows that Catholic schools are moving in the right direction to having the best faith and technology-based education possible at the high school and elementary school level, said JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of schools.
“I see this [library] as being on the cutting edge,” Tier said. “It is right on for what we are trying to accomplish at St. Rose and other schools.”
Tier was on hand Dec. 2 as Robert C. King and his wife, Cynthia, cut the ribbon on the library. The Kings donated $150,000 for the construction of the new library.
“I’m of one of 15 children. Our entire family was educated in the Catholic education system,” said King, an alumnus. The library is named in memory of his late mother, who was a volunteer at the library for 40 years.
“This library is a great way to memorialize my mother and an opportunity to upgrade the facilities,” he said.
Four years ago, the high school sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy, but the library was one of the only rooms not destroyed, said Nancy McGaughan, director of advancement.
She said the library hasn’t seen any renovations, cosmetically or technologically, since the 1960s, when the library was first constructed.
In addition to the new library, an alumna, who wished to remain anonymous, donated $225,000 toward two computer labs with MacBooks and PCs with the latest software to enhance all disciplines, including programming and robotics.
McGaughan said the school plans to add more technology, and she would like to revamp the science labs in the future.
Hannah Gammand, an 18-year-old senior who said she looks forward to having a quiet place where she can study and be with her friends, is also glad the laptops will be made available for student use outside of the library. Ryan Loftus, a 17-year-old senior and member of the school’s film club, said the library’s technology will help the club to edit and produce their video projects.
The new technology and facilities will show potential students and families that St. Rose is committed to change with the times, said Sister of St. Joseph Kathy Nace, St. Rose principal. She went on to say not only students, but faculty can go to the library to share their ideas and have a space for research, which is the basis of any good education.
Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, blessed the library before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“With all the added features that the new library has, I believe there will be more opportunities, especially through the media, to understand and explore the Catholic faith, and other faiths for that matter, through the study of theology, the Bible, lives of the saints, spiritual authors and other areas,” Msgr. Arnister said. “And at the same time, through that research and study, students will have the opportunity to explore their own life of faith and deepen it.”[[In-content Ad]]