TWO STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS salvaged from the old Holy Angels Church in St. Cloud will have a new life in the chapel at Cathedral High School.
Holy Angels Church was refurbished after it closed in 1991 to create the Holy Angels Performing Arts Center in 1994 and the windows were put in storage.
When Holy Spirit Church in St. Cloud was built in 1995, eight of the windows were used in its construction. Six more were unused, but now two of those windows — one depicting the Angel of Healing and another the Angel of Justice — are part of the school’s new chapel.
The chapel is part of a new addition to the St. Cloud school’s campus that connects Holy Angels Performing Arts Center, the historic center building, and the north gym. It is the first room visitors will see when they enter through the school’s new main entrance.
“The chapel being front and center is really going to be a nice message that this is a community of faith,” said Marit Ortega, advancement associate for the St. Cloud-area Catholic Community Schools. “We’re honoring that instead of hiding it away in a lower level of the center building. This is something we want to be proud of.”
Construction began last August on the $17.8 million addition that also will house the science, engineering and art departments as well as the main office and other administrative offices that will relocate from the south building. The building is expected to be finished in September, but fundraising will continue with $15.9 million raised so far in cash, pledges and in-kind donations, according to Chris Schellinger, director of advancement for Catholic Community Schools.
“We’re very, very excited,” Ortega said. “It’s going to bring a lot of new opportunities to Cathedral, and just the space itself will be fun, an enlightening and brighter place for our students.”
A central element of the new addition is a large community room with windows overlooking the Mississippi River. Cathedral has operated continuously at its current location since 1884, but the buildings haven’t showcased the view until now.
“It’s been right in our backyard forever, and our buildings have never capitalized on that. But we’re taking advantage of it now,” Ortega said.
A patio off of the community room will provide a possible place for outdoor classes, she said.
The addition also provides upgraded learning spaces for the engineering and science departments, including a garage-door type entrance for moving equipment. It also brings the art department together after years of having rooms on different floors. With the art rooms side by side, students will be able to collaborate and do mixed media projects that they haven’t been able to do before, Ortega said.
Another important part of the construction project is connecting the three buildings with ADA-compliant accessibility using ramps, elevators and hallways. The south building, which is still connected to the other buildings by the existing underground tunnel, will be used for classrooms, some offices and the cafeteria, Ortega said.