St. Bede’s Perino Science Center a boon for students and teachers alike
PERU — St. Bede Academy’s newest building addition, Perino Science Center, has been wowing students, teachers and visitors since its completion date last year.
The 17,500-square-foot space offers state-of-the-art physics, chemistry and biology labs that support innovative STEM-related courses, and a commons area that provides a space for students to study independently or in small groups or to just hang out and catch up on what’s been going on.
One fun perk about the space students and teachers favor most when the weather is warm — it’s air conditioned, unlike the rest of the building.
St. Bede senior Macy Bosnich describes the laboratory classrooms to be “pristine” compared to what the academy offered in its former antiquated laboratory space in the school’s basement. She said taking chemistry as a sophomore in the old chemistry lab compared to last year’s chemistry class in the new center was a huge difference.
“It’s a good place to learn. It’s a new environment. Different from the rest of the school building,” she said.
For Bosnich, the commons area allows students the opportunity to take a break from everything else.
“It’s a good change of pace, especially in the middle of the day,” she said. “It’s a good place where a lot of students hang out after school talking, bonding, making new friends, especially the freshmen. Activities and athletics are not directly after school, and this is a place where students come together and get to know each other, work on homework and collaborate.”
St. Bede senior Candy Song said the Perino Science Center gives the building a more college campus feel.
“It’s better than the old building,” she said. “It’s new.”
St. Bede senior Cissy Yu agreed and said the physics and chemistry classrooms are much better and more spacious than what they used to be.
Dr. Anila Gill, who teaches science at the academy, was hired after the Perino Science Center was complete. Therefore she’s got nothing to compare it to, but said it’s a spacious, relaxed environment where students can study with the help of a teacher nearby.
“The architecture provides a very soothing environment. The old building was cramped, and the classrooms were not connected to one another, so you felt very isolated,” she said.
There’s plenty of sunshine that comes through the big windows in the addition, spacious laboratory classrooms don’t cramp students in their seats, the tables can be unlocked and moved around, if needed, and all 21st-century technology needs for the classroom are met.
Having the teachers stationed in one room rather than in their own classrooms also allows them to collaborate on lesson plans, which they feel enriches the curriculum for students. Before Perino Science Center, the teachers taught on opposite ends of the school or on different floors, and it was a rare sight to see them all together.
Perino Science Center is named after St. Bede Academy alumnus Angelo Perino, who along with his wife, Andrea, and their family made a gift donation toward the construction project. The official dedication of the building took place on Aug. 19, 2018.