Building neighborhoods

Barat Academy, a new private, independent, co-educational Catholic high school in O'Fallon, Mo., is scheduled to open for the 2007-08 school term.

The brick and stone Founders (Academic) Building initially will accommodate 150 freshmen: 75 girls and 75 boys. Each of the following three years, a new freshman class will enter until the 2007-08 freshmen are seniors in 2010, at which time the school anticipates a student body of 600. While the school is co-ed, most classes will be single gender.

The academy views education as a learning street, with class neighborhoods intersecting as areas in which students congregate. Upon entering the school, visitors encounter the town center, where people congregate to obtain information. From there, the learning street leads to neighborhoods — one for each class — in which basic courses are taught.

When the high school opens in 2007, only the first floor will be built out. The main building ultimately will contain 30 18-student classrooms, eight science labs with two preparation rooms, administrative and development offices, a bookstore, library with high-tech media center, faculty offices, the information-technology department, and 10 break/study rooms. In addition to the academic areas, the main facility also will house such programs as orchestra and band, choral and piano, ceramics, painting and graphic arts.

The architect is Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc. (St. Louis). Acturis (St. Louis) is the interior/landscape designer, and Paric Corporation (O'Fallon, Mo.) is the construction manager.

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