ATTLEBORO — Several hundred Bishop Feehan supporters were in attendance September 22 when Bishop Feehan High School President Tim Sullivan unveiled plans for several major campus projects kicking off this spring. Completely renovated spaces for the school’s performing arts department, a brand-new 15,000 square-foot Innovation Center, and major upgrades — including a second turf field — to the school’s athletic facilities are included in the comprehensive campus plan.
These next campus improvements, coming right on the heels of the recent locker room, weight room and second gymnasium investments, will all be made possible by Feehan’s $13 million Daring to Believe Capital Campaign, the largest in the school’s history.
Campaign co-chairs Kevin Cryan and Dennis Kelly announced that the campaign has already secured commitments of $9.1 million towards that $13 million goal, allowing major construction to begin in 2022.
“This is our next moment at Feehan,” reported Sullivan. “For 60 years, those who believe in the mission of our school have always stepped up and moved Feehan forward. This Daring to Believe Campaign continues that legacy. Alumni from the 60s and 70s, young alums, current parents, future parents,friends from across the country and the world — the entire Feehan Family is making this next stage possible. We dare to believe in a future that’s even brighter than our storied past.”
The Daring to Believe Campaign features four main pillars:
1. People. Feehan will significantly increase its financial aid investment and continue its recent focus on recruiting and retaining the talented faculty who have always been the heartbeat of the school.
2. Performing Arts. Each of Feehan’s three main performing arts programs, theatre, band and vocal music (choir), will see entirely revamped spaces purpose-built to provide the best resources for those departments.
3. Major East Fields Improvements. Virtually every element of McGrath Stadium and Beach Field will be re-imagined. A new all-sport, turf surface will replace the currently-grass, baseball-only Beach Field. With new dugouts, scoreboards, lights and spectator seating the baseball experience will be second to none, while the sub-varsity fall teams (field hockey and soccer) will have a turf surface of their own for practice and games. Additionally, the existing McGrath Stadium turf and track will get on-schedule rebuilds and a new entrance pavilion will bring the entire complex together seamlessly. Every Feehan student will see the benefits of these changes.
4. Innovation and STEM. The crown jewel of the campaign will be a 15,000-square-foot addition to house a brand-new Business & Innovation academic department. Coding labs, engineering, physics and business classrooms, an IdeaLab (creator/innovation space) and the area’s first high school esports facility will place Feehan students clearly on the cutting edge of future technologies and trends.
Each of these campaign priorities follow closely the path laid out by Feehan’s comprehensive 2019 strategic plan. Importantly, Feehan has no plan to add students despite this new space, instead remaining dedicated to “knowing each student well,” and serving the existing student body more effectively each year.
“We are blessed,” pointed out Sullivan. “Our campus has been taken care of remarkably well for six decades, allowing us to continually add great new spaces on top of the core of our campus which is still in such great shape.”
Added Feehan Principal Sean Kane: “I must say that I’m most excited about our new academic spaces. Our performing arts programs have been outstanding for years and years, and now they will have the spaces they need and deserve. And of course, adding the Innovation Center will be a game-changer for our students and teachers. This is where education is going, and I’m so excited for Feehan to take the lead in this area.”
While still under development, current plans call for the performing arts construction to take place in time for back-to-school 2022, the Innovation Center to open in the Fall of 2023 and the athletics construction in 2023 or 2024.
“We dare to believe that excellence and mercy can co-exist at Feehan for generations to come,” concluded Sullivan.
Campaign progress will be updated regularly at BishopFeehan.com/DaringToBelieve. Anyone looking to learn more or get involved with the campaign can contact Feehan’s director of Advancement, Dave Curtis, at 508-226-7411.