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Mount Saint Charles Academy Starts the New School Year with $1.3 Million in Renovations and Announces the Addition of Grade Six in 2015

Sep 30, 2014 09:40AM ● By Pamela Johnson
On Monday August 25th, Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket, RI began its 91st year of ministry by opening its doors to 634 students (including 124 new, 482 returning, and 28 international students from China and South Korea) and 78 faculty/staff members. The beginning of the 2014-2015 school year also brought with it the promise of a great future for the Academy that stands proud on the hilltop of Logee Street.  In addition to the $1.3 million in renovations to the physical plant during these past summer months, Mount’s administration made the historic decision to add a sixth grade, in the fall of 2015, to the already well-established seventh through twelfth  grade structure.

Currently a college prep school, this new format will allow Mount to welcome students transitioning from their elementary school after grade five into a college prep curriculum that begins with the sixth grade. The Academy will continue to accept qualified students entering grades seven and nine as well as students desiring to transfer into grades eight, ten, or eleven. A committee of teachers has been hard at work preparing a curriculum and program for Mount’s new sixth grade which promises to be one of the best in the state. From every academic department, to technology, to the concept of an outside expanded classroom, the addition of the sixth grade will launch a reinvention of the Academy’s junior high school.

In anticipation of Mount’s future, for more than 10 years the Academy has been embarking upon a vast renovation initiative which has been made possible through the school’s annual fund, walkathon, auction, and designated donations. Just this summer alone, $1.3 million was invested into the Academy which included replacing the upper part of the enormous majestic granite staircase at the front of the school and creating a new main entryway at the back of the school.  The roof on the Br. Adelard hockey arena was replaced and half of the second floor, including four classrooms and an office, were gutted and completely updated. In the summer of 2015, the rest of the second floor will be completed. 

 The main focus of Mount’s long-term campus renovation plan has been updating and revitalizing the Academy’s classrooms and laboratories. Since the launch of this project, five state of the art science labs, a technology lab, two extra classrooms, a new gym complex, and a new fine arts wing were created in addition to a $750,000 complete reconstruction of Mount’s third floor (12 classrooms). The freshman/sophomore and junior high locker rooms were rebuilt, a sprinkler system was added to the hockey arena, and the stairs leading from the upper campus parking lot down to the arena were replaced. In 2013, Mount added a six court tennis complex. Technology is also constantly being updated.  Wifi has been added to various parts of the main building and interactive smart boards were added to the renovated classrooms which serve as an innovative way for Mount teachers to interact with their students.     

As part of the Academy’s long term sustainability endeavor and in an effort to make the building more energy efficient, Mount’s heating system was converted from oil burning heat to a gas heat system, in 2013, which decreased the school’s heating bill by about 50%.  The classrooms and locker rooms have been equipped with new, energy efficient windows and lights as well as new walls, floors, and ceilings. A plan is currently being developed to incorporate solar panels into the physical plant that would first allow the hockey arena and then the main building to be self-sustaining in the areas of the Academy’s energy consumption and usage. 

Herve Richer ’74, the Academy’s president, said, “In spite of these challenging times, Mount Saint Charles Academy is forging ahead and preparing for its future.  For the past 90 years, we have provided a holistic, faith-based, college preparatory education for students in northern Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts.  Now, we are positioning ourselves to offer that same quality education for many years to come.  We are responding to the needs of 21st Century learners by adjusting our curriculum and instruction, and modernizing our facilities.  And now the Mount experience will be available to 6th graders as we align ourselves to allow students who desire to do so to transition into our school after the 5th grade, which has become the norm in most school systems.”

We are proud of our past, of our tradition and history,” Richer went on to say.” “We are very proud of the many graduates of the Academy who have, as our mission statement challenges them, ‘become people of faith who use their talents and intellects to serve others.’  We are very excited about our future, in which we will challenge and prepare new generations of students to become leaders in our 21st Century society and who will bring the values of an education in the tradition of the Brothers of the Scared Heart into the lives of all the people whom they will meet.”

Mount’s Open House is Sunday, November 2nd from 2-4pm. For more information, please visit or email Joseph O’Neill, Director of Admissions, at [email protected]




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