Cistercian Celebrates Upgraded Science Building

Abbot Peter Verhalen performs the Rite of Blessing for Cistercian Preparatory School’s newly-renovated and expanded Science Building. (Courtesy photo)

Cistercian Preparatory School has renovated and expanded its Science Building to add and rearrange classroom laboratories and provide more room for lectures, demonstrations, and experiments.

“Hands-on scientific learning is important since science is as much a method as a body of knowledge,” said Martina Kroll, head of the science department. “Experiments are a crucial part of the method for the understanding and retention of concepts.”

School officials said class sizes had increased since the building originally opened in 1985 on the campus at 3660 Cistercian Road in Irving.

Building plans by architect Gary Cunningham introduced natural light in all spaces and removed the drop ceiling to show the students how the building actually works. The classrooms are now equipped with some of the latest scientific technology to prepare students for what they will encounter in college, school officials said.

The addition to the Science Building houses a classroom for fifth-graders to meet regularly for earth science and an adjoining flex lab for electives and the robotics team, as well as a space for building theater sets. Above the one-story addition is an outdoor patio for biology genetics experiments, an egg drop porch for physics, and solar panels for educational purposes, as well as electricity cost reduction.

This patio also offers an amazing view of some of the 82 acres of undeveloped land and trees that surround the campus, school leaders said.

The Science Building improvements conclude Cistercian’s $10-million Building on a Solid Foundation capital campaign.

The campaign also included building a crypt attached to the Abbey Church, renovating parts of the Abbey, and increasing the school’s endowments for student scholarship support and faculty development.