Staff say spaces reorganized for security, convenience and logistics.
The Visitor’s Center moved to Austin Hall during summer 2014. During that time, the current Visitor’s Center building was used as Head Football Coach and Director of Experiential Learning
Mr. Aaron Brady’s office.
Originally, Head of School Mr. Christian Talbot and Brady planned for the Visitor’s Center building to have similar features to the Learning Commons, like writeable walls. This would create an open idea environment that aids ingenuity and creativity.
Despite the fact that the special walls were not installed, the idea of the “Experiential Learning Hub” stayed alive. With whiteboards, computers, and televisions all accessible in the office, the concept of student entrepreneurship was supported.
“The space wasn’t used as much for the [Social Entrepreneurship] class we had, but more for kids who had ideas or projects they wanted to do,” Brady said.
The Visitor’s Center building was also the ideal space for Brady’s office. This office allowed him to work both with academics and athletics.
From a football perspective, it allowed his players to watch film, go over game plans, and meet with college coaches. This space also allowed Brady to conduct meetings with alumni and students.
If this space was so ideal for Brady, why was it changed?
According to Brady, the main reason for the relocation of his office was security. From a security standpoint, both Brady and Mr. Lestrange agree that the Visitor’s Center is the first building you see while driving around the ring road.
“The Visitor’s Center controls the flow of visitors,” Head of Campus Security Mr. Steve Lestrange said.
At a place like Malvern Prep, the campus is very open. The location for visitor check in needs to be prominent.
Lestrange mentioned how public schools typically have one building, with one controlled door for visitors to check in. At a place like Malvern Prep, the campus is very open. The location for visitor check in needs to be prominent. Mr. Lestrange also said that paying attention to the little things keep this campus safe.
“[Lestrange] has a really hard job. No one cares until something happens,” Brady said. “I think he does an incredible job; for being understaffed, the way he keeps this place safe and really cares about the kids here and the faculty. The guy has a heart of gold.”
According to Lestrange, the location of the Visitor’s Center building also provides an aspect of convenience. Visitors can simply park and check in.
Receptionist and Assistant to Student Life Mrs. Michelle O’Donnell is the first face you see when checking in at the Visitor’s Center. “It’s the first place visitors park and see on campus,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell said the the Visitor’s Center is very busy, and that it is a great space to get things done ranging from parents dropping off their child’s bag to directing delivery trucks.
Assistant Director of Admissions and Head Lacrosse Coach Mr. John McEvoy said that the previous visitor check-in in Austin Hall became too busy on some days. According to McEvoy, it is challenging for Austin Hall to be used both as an administrative building and a visitors building.
As for the location of the “Experiential Learning Hub,” a specific location has yet to be determined. Brady has a new office in St. Rita’s, but he said it is not big enough to have it be the headquarters of experiential learning.
Story produced in senior Journalism and Media Literacy elective class.