As students at Ursuline Academy of Dallas anticipated coming back to school full time for the 2021-2022 schoolyear, a new addition to Ursuline’s campus awaited them: the East Campus building.
Last year, teachers, students, and members of the Ursuline community eagerly awaited the new building as they observed it while it was erected.
“I just remember I didn’t know there was so much land over here, I thought there was just space for a small house, but when I saw the building being built, I was surprised but glad,” said Emma Louviere ’22.
Louviere also said what it was like to begin having classes in East Campus, as the building opened for the first time this schoolyear.
“I was more excited to attend classes in the East Campus rather than the Main Campus the first day of school, but I’m glad to still have classes in the Main Hall because it keeps the tradition of Ursuline while having new innovation,” she said.
The architect of the new addition is project architect with Glenn | Partners Rachel Westmoreland Chapman ’10, who according to Ursulinedallas.org, “her passion for architecture was born her senior year of high school when Ursuline held a two-week career shadowing program for different industries.”
As of right now, current Ursuline students can start to enjoy engineering and fabrication labs and new learning spaces for English and Social Studies.
Sophomore Nicole Estrada described her reaction to when the beginning part of the building was finished.
“My first thought when I saw the new building was how beautiful it was,” she said, “I love how it includes the Ursuline colors, and I feel that it represents a new chapter of Ursuline.”
For Sofia Velesiotis ’24, the features of the East Campus enhance her favorite class, English.
“There is a ton of light and it is very modern! It’s almost psychological because the light and open features doesn’t make you feel stuffed in a classroom. It feels more innovative and modern, and open for ideas! Then, after class I can go outside and work on my homework. Plus, it smells really good,” she said.
Teachers Ms. Smith and Dr. Griffin agree with Sofia on the light aspect of the new building.
“My favorite part is the space and the fact of how light and open it is! Especially, how spacious it is and there is a better location with a view,” journalism and yearbook teacher Ms. Smith said.
Dr. Griffin feels similarly on her favorite part of East Campus.
“All of the natural light! But also: the giant whiteboard and sharing with teacher friends who love to collaborate on the design and decor of the space,” she said.
As well, English teacher Dr. Griffin described her journey to her new room.
“For the past two years I have been a nomad, along with many other members of the English Department, as my classrooms have been all over campus: in math, computer science, theology, and social studies rooms! Prior to that, I was in downstairs Main Hall—where the business offices are currently located. I loved having a room tucked away from all the hubbub—a quiet little reading/writing nook!” she wrote.
She also added how her new classroom is more beneficial for students.
“The new desks in particular: I love that they easily adjust for students of every height,” she said.
Construction on the East Campus continues as Ursuline adds more features to the building.
Soon, students will be able to enjoy new visual and performing arts classrooms, a broadcast studio, a chapel and a theater with 1,000 seats.
Nicole Estrada ’24 summed up the overall feeling and perspective on East Campus.
“Learning at the East Campus feels like a whole new world! I feel so thankful to attend such an amazing school, and I can’t wait for future students to enjoy the new campus,” she said.