Change Font Size:   A A A

Sep 22, 2015 | Anne Marie Becka

St. Stephen's School, Austin, Dedicates New Fitness and Wellness Center


On September 7, the St. Stephen’s Episcopal School community and honored guests gathered for a special ceremony of thanksgiving and dedication to mark the official opening of the Austin school’s new Spartan Fitness and Wellness Center.


(L to R) The Rev. Todd FitzGerald, Director of Athletics Jon McCain, Lay Chaplain Jim Crosby, Head of School Bob Kirkpatrick, and Executive Chair of the Board of Trustees Ellen Osborne Ray with student speakers and the Rt. Rev. Dena A Harrison.

Following a performance by the school’s Thunder Drumline, the Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison, bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and St. Stephen’s board chair, led the more than 950 attendees in song and prayer before she consecrated the new athletic facility. “Let the door be open,” said Harrison. “Peace be to this place and to all who enter here.”


The facility’s architectural design included adding 4,700 square feet of conditioning space onto the original Fehr & Granger-designed Middle School Gym, which also was renovated during construction of the addition. The resulting 8,400-square-foot Spartan Fitness and Wellness Center includes a weight lifting and exercise equipment space, training suite with cold tub, injury assessment and rehabilitation area, conference room, and office spaces for full-time coaches. The facility also houses St. Stephen’s Soccer Academy offices and clubhouse. In addition, the exterior site design creates new gathering spaces, pedestrian pathways, and a beautiful new entrance to lower campus.


“We are excited and pleased to dedicate the Spartan Fitness and Wellness Center today,” said Head of School Bob Kirkpatrick, after welcoming attendees to the dedication. “We are tremendously grateful to the more than 850 campaign donors for their invaluable support, which has enabled us to further enhance life on The Hill.”


The Spartan Fitness and Wellness Center is the final project in St. Stephen’s Frame the Future capital campaign, which raised $27.3 million for the school throughout the last four years. “This historic campaign has enriched the student experience by restoring and invigorating our campus and increasing our endowment,” said Christine Aubrey, director of advancement. “It represents the culmination of a successful campaign that will benefit countless generations of Spartan student-athletes for years to come.”


In addition to the new athletic facility, St. Stephen’s Frame the Future campaign, launched in 2010, enabled the school to add an inviting new student center, beautiful dining hall, 60-person dormitory, 10 faculty residences, multimedia arts studios and terraced pedestrian green, significantly enhancing the campus environment.