Totino-Grace High School, due to the generosity of numerous donors, is making three key campus upgrades. The projects include: a new synthetic turf athletic field and video display scoreboard to replace the current grass field and analog scoreboard; a showcase science research lab with state-of-the-art equipment for biomedical and engineering studies; and a recording studio for performance and audio production.
According to Totino-Grace President Dr. Craig Junker, "As we emerge from the pandemic, we are doubling down on investing in our school’s facilities and the opportunities they provide for TG Eagles to enjoy incomparable opportunities during their high school years and graduate well-prepared for college and career and to serve as future leaders. We are grateful to the many donors who made these varied infrastructure improvements possible through their donations." Dr. Junker noted that with the funds in hand, all projects are moving forward immediately and will be completed by August 2021, when Totino-Grace plans to begin fall semester with an in-person-only learning model.
Turf Field and Scoreboard
Approximately 95% of our students take part in at least one co-curricular or athletic activity annually at Totino-Grace. In the past decade, significant improvements have been made to the gymnasium and auditorium. New vocal and instrumental music spaces, a fitness center, and wrestling and multi-purpose room have been added to our facility to meet the needs and interests of our students outside the classroom. The time has come to modernize the field and scoreboard in Jim Totino Stadium, a space where our community gathers and student-athletes compete and perform.
A synthetic turf field will replace the current grass field and a video display scoreboard will be installed as we retire the analog scoreboard that has served our teams for over 40 years.
The new turf field will be utilized by all program levels for soccer, football, lacrosse, and track and field. The E’gals dance team will have additional performance opportunities, and physical education classes will now have access to the field in the fall and spring. Our partner grade schools will be welcome to utilize the upgraded facility, bringing Future Eagles on campus.
Natural grass fields must recover from use during the season and over the summer, limiting on campus opportunities. The investment of artificial turf alleviates the cost and logistical challenges associated with finding practice and competition spaces for many of our teams during two competition seasons. Our students will be able to utilize the field from March - November, allowing more of our teams to remain on campus.
The opportunity to have full-time access to the best possible playing surface provides our students with an enhanced participation experience, alleviates rental and transportation expenses, and will refresh excitement and pride of the Eagle community when we gather once again in person in Jim Totino Stadium.
"Having an artificial surface will help so much with providing space for our students and athletes on campus. We will have the opportunity to use that space all day long for PE classes and all afternoon and evening for activities. It will be so nice to be able to invite people to use our facilities rather than battle to keep them off of the field!"
Mike Smith, Director of Activities and Transportation
Following the conclusion of this school year, Totino-Grace will begin construction on a dedicated research laboratory. This lab space will provide new and enhanced opportunities in the areas of biotechnology, bioengineering, molecular biology, microbiology and genetics, physiology, and forensic science.
Cutting-edge equipment and facility features will expand laboratory experiences in all science disciplines taught at Totino-Grace and grant new opportunities to students pursuing independent capstone projects in the Kathleen Murphy Scholars Program and E3 Engineering Institute.
Totino-Grace recognizes the need to promote curiosity, collaboration, creative thinking, and innovative problem solving skills in students who will become the next generation of leaders addressing the complex global challenges of today and tomorrow.
"Having a new, modern lab space will allow our teachers to provide more opportunities in current and cutting-edge science to take place. And since the lab will be accessible to so many different classes, it will greatly increase the number of students that are exposed to advanced science and laboratory research, which will prepare them for success in future science exploration as well as excite them about career possibilities in science."
Dan Vandermyde, Assistant Principal
Students with an interest and passion for music and audio production will benefit from the Totino-Grace on campus recording studio that will fully open in the fall of 2021. The dedicated space for live performance recordings and audio engineering will feature current industry technology and equipment to enhance opportunities for our music students and those with an interest in the production side of the music and recording industry.
A professionally designed recording studio in a high school facility is a rarity. The exposure to college and career opportunities, acquired knowledge and skills, and completed recordings will be an advantage to students in planning for future pursuits. Students will have the ability to create audio for competition or scholarships; our choral and instrumental programs can create publishable concerts; and school departments and co-curricular groups can produce quality recordings to support a variety of needs.
The space — open to all TG students and staff — will provide many new curricular and co-curricular opportunities, extend performance capabilities, enhance Totino-Grace Fine Arts Academy programming, and serve as an additional source of revenue when the space is leased to outside groups.
"The addition of a fully operational recording studio will greatly enhance the already extensive ensemble and academic musical offerings at Totino-Grace, but in a whole new way. Having the ability to record their work at a very high level, as well as learning the production side of music recording and production, will provide opportunities that few other high schools can offer. The options created for students at TG will reach beyond the students in the ‘performing’ ensembles to a wider group of students with interests in music production. Outcomes created in this space will also be a new and exciting link between the current students and our alumni, friends, families and the larger community. The recording studio will truly be a unique and forward looking addition to the rich history of music at Totino-Grace High School."
Tim Hoffman, Director of Instrumental Music and Fine Arts Academy
2021-2022 Learning Model
Totino-Grace plans to implement one learning model for the 2021-2022 academic year. All students will be on campus and in-person five days a week, resuming the valuable community experiences and opportunities that are a hallmark of Totino-Grace. As we have experienced, factors out of our control may have an impact on a school's learning plan. With our success implementing various learning models over the course of the past year in response to the coronavirus pandemic – but always through live, real time instruction for both in-person and online learners each academic day -- Eagle families can be assured TG has the ability and experience to offer a high-quality, rigorous learning environment to students even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“Students learn best when they are with their peers and teachers. The connections our students have with their teachers is special. When they are in person, that relationship grows even stronger. They are challenged by their peers and benefit from the social interaction.”
Cheri Broadhead, Principal