Alum donation will lead to classroom renovations on first floor


Henry Anyimadu '23

New first floor classrooms have already had an impact on the learning environment, shown here in a sophomore study hall period.

Hank Hardage, Contributing Writer

The first-floor new wing is getting a fresh start. The carpets are currently being installed, and President Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer and faculty are hopeful the new furniture and supplies will arrive soon.
“We’ve chosen to do them because every school needs constant updating,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “And so, we figured that we needed to update the technology and furniture.”
Gregory Pohlman, an alumnus from the graduating class of 1978 recently passed away and left the school a donation of $1 million.
“Once we got news about the donation, Mrs. Koenig suggested that we go ahead and do the whole wing,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “At first we were only planning to renovate a few classrooms.”
The renovations were supposed to happen before the school year, but due to global supply chain issues, now the project is estimated to be completed in April.
The new classrooms will have a specific format to help with the learning environment.
“You will be able to do very upgraded zoom technology, so you can have virtual class,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “If someone’s sick, they can be in there and they can hear everyone talking and all that stuff.”
There will be new projectors, microphones, speakers, wiring, desks, and carpet with De Smet branding and artwork on the walls.
“The goal of the benefits is that we have the most up-to-date, and technologically advanced classrooms that we can have,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “It’ll look like the classroom of the future.”
Seven classroom slots will be unavailable for use during the renovations. Right now Mr. Williams is working on a schedule to work around this.
“I’d say what’s interesting to think about is that the days of just having desks and a chalkboard and calling that a classroom is over,” O’Dwyer said. “But that’s alright. At least you’re getting prepared for the real world.”