The New Campbell Building Opens Social and Academic Opportunities

  • William Heafey ’22, Adrian de Vernou ’22, Finn Roblin ’21, & Timothy Meneses ’21

With the new school year underway, Sacred Heart has changed radically in its physical environment and the culture it inspires. Construction of the new William V. Campbell Arts and Academics Center has been completed, broadly impacting students and teachers. New and better facilities allow for teachers to improve their craft and for students to grow as artists and scholars. The new building will allow for students to utilize its new study spaces, flex rooms, and improved facilities for the arts to broaden their learning.

After the demolition of the old Sigall building, construction crews worked tirelessly to construct the Campbell building. For nearly two years, construction workers carved a basement, set a foundation, and gradually transformed the job site into a completed building. Where Sigall, a 21,000 square foot one story building, once stood, there is now Campbell, a 72,000 square foot three story marvel. The new Campbell building was dedicated to Mr. William Campbell, a father, coach, and ardent supporter of Sacred Heart Schools. Bill Campbell grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and played and later coached football at Columbia University. Mr. Campbell “believed in the whole child,” said Mr. Dioli, so it is only fitting that the new building bears his name.

Feedback from the teachers in the Campbell building is extremely positive. Math teacher Ms. Kendall Olsen focused on the building’s physical features, saying, “the new furniture gives us a lot of flexibility with group work in class. Being in this building is going to help me work with different departments on projects.” Ms. Olsen also praised the way the building melds study both inside and outside of the classroom, saying that “the hallways are a good community space not only for students outside of class but also for classes to use for activities.” She also added that the “new furniture set up with the white boards helps us display student work in different ways.” Marker-safe, erasable walls allow students to brainstorm and solve problems visually. 

Among other additions, the building has blinds that regulate based on the level of sunlight outside, pods with charging stations that line the hallways and a larger entrance. One of the most unique aspects of the construction is the reflective windows that overlook the transition from the main building to Campbell, emphasizing the idea of building on tradition to shape the future.

Compared to its predecessor, Sigall, math teacher Mr. John Gilmore believes that the new building “is modernization. This brings the teaching environment to another level. Industry wants education to mirror what they do, and to have a building that models business allows us to bring a modern work environment in the classrooms.” Campbell’s modern classrooms elevate the learning and discovery that take place within them.

The transformation of the Creative Inquiry space will create a lasting impact on campus. “The biggest change is happening right now,” says English and Creative Inquiry instructor Mr. Jake Moffat over the bustle of the Hearth, where the Food Writers and Monsters in Literature classes have prepared a freshly slaughtered goat. “We have classes making meals, kids making cookies, exchange students coming together and listening to music and baking… that change creates culture and community in a whole new way,” Mr. Moffat adds.  The idea of the Hearth was to create a meeting space for Creative Inquiry and other class. From the Hearth kitchen ideas can flow, develop, and inspire. 

The kitchen is open to all students who sign up, as long as an adult is present. “My hope is that what we’re doing is bringing more and more classes in… that we build a space that invites, both actively and passively, [both] students and teachers to come do work… that students find an opportunity to find their passion in this space,” says Mr. Moffat. 

Alongside the changes to Creative Inquiry, the Campbell building offers purpose-built art spaces on campus, which to Director of Bands Ms. Sadie Queally-Sammut is “proof in practice that we are on an upward track,” referencing Sigall’s lack of purpose-built art spaces. To Ms. Queally-Sammut, a band room with extensive storage and thoughtful design “shows the school’s commitment to the arts” and “to the growth and excellence of the program.” More than the band room has been revamped: The Campbell building houses new dance, photography, chorus, ceramics, and studio art rooms, as well as a professional-grade film studio. 

Calling it the “WVCAAC” may not have caught on, but the new building has shaped the relationships between Sacred Heart students and teachers through its new academic offerings and creative features, as well as maximized the potential for realizing imaginative ideas in a space that provides all that a student could ask for.

Refreshingly, what was expected of her was the same thing that was expected of Lara Stone: to take a beautiful picture.

We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi, local jam and peppermint tea.

We wandered the site with busloads of other tourists, yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

Headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed.

Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed.

I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.


Clothes can transform your mood and confidence. Fashion moves so quickly that, unless you have a strong point of view, you can lose integrity. I like to be real. I don’t like things to be staged or fussy. I think I’d go mad if I didn’t have a place to escape to. You have to stay true to your heritage, that’s what your brand is about.

By Axel de Vernou

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