Three long awaited science labs were celebrated in a prayer service Monday at Providence High School, officially capping off eight years of work on the $3.2-million project.
The state-of-the-art laboratories for chemistry, biology and physics classes were just an idea in 2004.
It was a lot of “planning, prodding and praying,” said Head of School Joe Sciuto.
Fundraising began in 2007, and by December 2011, construction broke ground.
Seeing the project from genesis to fruition was overwhelming for some, including Cathy Boucher, director of operations at Providence.
“I’ve watched it from the very beginning,” she said, her eyes welling up with tears. “Everybody worked so hard. It does our hearts so much good to see that these students can have a facility where they can learn and we can teach.”
The project was paid for by 444 donors whose names are permanently engraved outside the classrooms.
After the ceremony, Sciuto guided community members through the labs, pointing out new touch-screen computers at teacher desks.
Each room also features an interactive board that allows teachers to write directly on top of an image they project on the white board from their computer and email it to students.
The labs replace those that had been in use since Providence opened in 1955. The new labs take the place of a former driveway. The quad was reconstructed to lead to the classrooms.
On Monday, video footage of construction played as school and community leaders spoke about the effort that went into the project.
Among the several Sisters of Providence in attendance was Sister Lucille Dean, who said completing the labs was “testimony to those who prayed and worked and waited and always believed in commitment.”
Bishop Gerald Wilkerson, who oversees the San Fernando Valley pastoral region, encouraged students to become great students of science, but “not to be a great scientist without a soul,” or take any other career path without being in touch with the soul.
“The world is filled with those souls,” he said. “You have great minds, but you must also have great souls” and “a mind that’s filled with compassion, with righteousness, with understanding, with kindness and care."