Regis Jesuit High School held a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, December 5 for its newly completed 65,000-square-foot Science & Innovation Center. Kyle Speller, announcer for the World Champion Denver Nuggets and alumnus of Regis Jesuit’s Class of 1989, served as emcee for this special event held specifically for the students.
Sean McNicholas,1992 Regis Jesuit grad and CEO of SSA Group, the Denver-based company that provides services for cultural attractions both locally and across the country, were among the featured speakers during the ceremony. City of Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko and ward member Angela Lawson were in attendance along with representatives from project partners Larson Incitti Architects, Saunders Construction and Anser Advisory. The ribbon cutting coincides with this year’s Colorado Gives Day, providing a concrete example of how philanthropy helps to build resources in our community.
Construction began in June 2022 on this fourth academic building, which will open for classes in January for the start of the second semester. The Science & Innovation Center will be utilized by all the school’s students, helping to address a critical need for additional space, as well as providing upgraded facilities for the core sciences, interdisciplinary exploration, creativity, entrepreneurship and scientific experimentation.
“Today, Regis Jesuit High School prepares to innovate once again to better serve the community, make a deeper expression of mission and ensure relevance in light of the signs of the times,” says David Card ’87, the fourth president since the school moved in 1990 to its now 85-acre campus in Aurora. “We hope to engage our students in discussions, ideas and projects that encourage curiosity and the kind of questions that are moved by empathy and compassion for our neighbors, especially the poor.”
The building’s 13 science classrooms and 8000-square-foot Innovation Center elevate STEM offerings and further complement the strong liberal arts foundation offered in Regis Jesuit’s unique single-sex instruction model that currently serves 1700 young men and women. The facility provides enhanced state-of-the-art spaces for the already excellent biology, chemistry and physics curriculum and will allow the expansion of courses in robotics, rocket science, environmental science, studio arts and more. An expanded media lab will provide abundant space for students in our thriving RJ Media program to develop the industry skills needed to produce quality journalistic media content.
Prominently positioned at the front of the building and showcasing extraordinary views of the mountains, the Our Lady of the Way Chapel becomes our third chapel on campus, providing a sacred space in this new building and conveying the school’s Catholic, Jesuit tradition. The Science & Innovation Center also features numerous presentations and informal spaces to invite collaboration and nurture curiosity.
In addition to its academic focus, the building also becomes the front door for Regis Jesuit High School. A new admissions center will welcome prospective students and their families to campus, while the nearby McCallin Alumni Center, named for a family that will soon include five generations of Raider grads, will welcome our thousands of alumni back to their alma mater. The school plans to expand the utilization of the Science & Innovation Center, exploring ways it can become a resource for the community beyond that of our current and alumni families.
The second floor of the $36 million building opens on the east side to McNicholas Plaza, a 4,000-square-foot multi-purpose outdoor space ideal for student learning with the capacity to host community events, especially when coupled with the adjacent McNicholas Green.
Funding for the Science & Innovation Center was secured in part through philanthropic contributions from alumni, parents and friends to Inspire & Ignite 2025, Regis Jesuit High School’s strategic vision committed to access, innovation and excellence. As the largest fundraising effort to date in the school’s history, this philanthropic campaign has been supported by more than 4200 gifts totaling nearly $31 million toward a $42 million comprehensive goal. “We’re grateful to the members of our community who created the initial momentum for this effort, which now includes nine historic leadership gifts of $1 million or more. But most importantly, gifts of all sizes have helped us to reach this milestone moment,” notes Mindae Russell, vice president of advancement.
Additional capital initiatives within Inspire & Ignite 2025 include the enlargement of the school’s tennis facilities, construction of which is now underway, as well as the expansion of athletic field space and campus.