Editorial: Innovation Center was well worth the wait

Thanks go to all involved in planning, fund raising, building

The+new+Innovation+Center+is+on+the+cusp+of+fully+opening.+

Megaphone file photo

The new Innovation Center is on the cusp of fully opening.

Megaphone Staff

For returning sophomores, juniors and seniors, the first day of school unveiled a campus that is vastly different from the one that older students have been used to. The new Innovation Center, the product of years of planning and the financial support of generous donors, along with around two years of challenging construction, has changed the Hill for the better for current and future students. 

While few students remember a time before the construction, the upgraded addition to Kelly Hall features many new classrooms, labs, a spirit shop and a dining hall, all of which are sure to be valued additions to the building. 

Thanks to the generous support of the Cathedral family and the hard work of construction crews along with all those who were involved in the planning and made the day to day work happen (Mr. Landeros comes to mind), the Innovation Center is an idea turned into fruition that will benefit students for years to come.

One of the blessings in disguise that was brought about by the pandemic was the ability for work to start on the construction site during the spring of 2020, as students and faculty were off campus, and it made transportation and building easier and more efficient for the team working. While the final touches are still being made inside and out, the progress over the past  two summers has been invaluable thanks to a less crowded campus. With the return of students to start this school year, workers continue their jobs  throughout the day on various rooms, walls and the exterior of the building. The construction management staff wants the entire space to be usable for students as soon as possible. 

Even though the courtyard between Loretto and Kelly has not yet returned to its former glory, newly constructed walkways have enabled students to make the trips across the courtyard to Loretto and the A.K. Shiel Student Life Center, unlike last school year in which students were forced to traverse through the parking lot or the doors on the east wing of Kelly Hall. After the final details of the construction process are finalized, the courtyard will once again become an open area for students to rest, socialize or quietly get homework completed throughout the day.

As for the Innovation Center itself, not only does the cutting edge and modern design mesh well with the rest of the building, it provides a space with a variety of functions for students. The top two floors of the building are havens for study lounges and common areas along with many different classrooms that include flexible seating and learning environments. The fun does not end there. With the lowest floor featuring an updated dining hall, students will have the opportunity to eat their lunch in a large room with everything from comfy booths to better lunch features, as well as a large video board. Students now have a well-lit eating area in the center of campus, one that will not only allow students to get their necessary meals faster, but more stress-free.

The recently implemented shining star (quite literally) of the Innovation Center is a back-lit, stained glass mural. The mural, a work commissioned by Indiana artist Mr. Carl Leck, captures the school’s motto “Ipsa Duce Non Fatigaris,” which is Latin for “With Her Leading, We Shall Not Tire.” What better way to depict the school’s motto than having the Blessed Mother’s arms stretched open wide over campus, as she watches over and leads her students. 

Not only does the Innovation Center have value with the many different outlets it offers students, but the new building furthermore represents the important ideals on which Cathedral is built. Respecting the history of the campus, the establishment blends well in connection with Kelly Hall as well as with the older buildings of Loretto and the Cunningham Fine Arts Center. But it also has modern flair and design that points to Cathedral being a beacon of progress, advancement and leadership in Central Indiana. 

The Center is also a representation of the Holy Cross core value of excellence that Cathedral calls its students to strive for. The building will allow students to better themselves as high schoolers and young adults, preparing for the world they will enter once their time on the Hill is complete. 

The ever-present idea of family at Cathedral is a large one as well. And the Innovation Center, built through the hard earned money of the Cathedral Family, hopes to honor the valued donations made and remind students of the Irish family that Cathedral is impacted by.

The Innovation Center’s process over the past two years has been one with high expectations, and they have all been met thanks to the generosity of donors, perseverance of construction teams and the patience and cooperation of the Cathedral students and staff. While construction did cause some minor challenges, those short term obstacles were outweighed by the long term benefits of having such a space.

After two years of hard work, careful planning and overcoming obstacles, Cathedral is grateful and ready to explore the benefits that the brand new Innovation Center has to offer.