With the Huss and Schilling Center, SPA remodels for the 21st century


HGA Architects and Engineers

An Artist’s rendering of what the New Schilling center will look like

With the Schilling Center starting to take shape, our school of the past is pushing its way into the future. With St. Paul Academy entering its 118th year, the administration has moved from focusing on the history of the building and preserving it, to making way for additions more timely to learning in the 21st century. These additions and projects represent the evolution of SPA and it should be a multiple step process.

In the fall of 2015, the students and staff experienced the first step in SPA’s evolution with the opening of the Huss Center. The spacious lobby, large glass doors, and stunning red panelling on the roof changes the dynamic from the dull white brick walls and wood panelling of the original building. The Huss Center integrates an important thing that many of the classrooms and hallways lack, natural lighting. The west side of the building mainly consists of large windows and glass doors to let the sun and light flow in. The Huss Center was a great first step to push SPA into the future, but there is more to do.

SPA still has many buildings that aren’t modern, the math and science wings along with the Davern lobby area still are modeled in a older and more traditional sense and while some people think that this is SPA trying to keep its historical roots. In reality, it causes a severe dichotomy between the new modern buildings and the old look of the original buildings that causes a headache. Many people feel like like this difference in styles is detrimental to the school’s style.

Senior Harry Stephenson said”This building looks like a Franken-School.”

It looks as if SPA has trapped the past in the middle of the future.

The new Schilling Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018, SPA is giving a glowing example of what SPA should really look like. Having an old brick building with minimal windows in between two futuristic buildings shows that we appreciate history, but it’s time for us to change. We should start by adding more natural light into classrooms, especially in the math area. They should also find a way to make the inner walls more appealing to students instead of wood paneling and brick. While we have made the steps to push SPA into the future with the architecture of our new buildings, there is more that needs to be done to truly make this a school of the 21st century.