Saint Mary's College of California has broken ground on an academic hall that will house its newly named Kalmanovitz School of Education.

Construction of the $23.4 million building -- named the Frank J. and Olivia C. Filippi Academic Hall -- began on May 22 and should be completed by September 2007. In addition to housing the School of Education, the two-story, 37,000-square-foot building will house classrooms, faculty and administrative offices and various academic support services.

"Saint Mary's is committed to meeting the significant need for qualified teachers in the Bay Area and beyond," said Saint Mary's College President Brother Ronald Gallagher during a May 19 ceremony. "We see this project as an investment in the region's future."

The School of Education at Saint Mary's College grants more than 300 teaching credentials and more than 100 academic degrees to graduate students each year. In addition, the school enrolls more than 600 graduate students and up to 500 part-time students in professional development programs each semester.

Ray Larkin, president of the college's Board of Trustees, said the new building represents a turning point for Saint Mary's as it plans capital improvements to its Moraga campus. Construction of Filippi Academic Hall began nearly two years after the college learned that it would not receive $120 million in pledged funds from an anonymous donor. Those funds had been earmarked for several building projects.

"This is a great day for Saint Mary's," said Larkin. "The college has implemented policies that will provide secure footing for all campus expansion plans in the years to come. This groundbreaking affirms that."

Construction of Filippi Academic Hall is being funded through gifts from more than 40 individuals and foundations, including the estate of Frank and Olivia Filippi, the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, and the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation.

Media Coverage:
* Link to Contra Costa Times Article
* Link to East Bay Business Journal Article
* Link to Inside Bay Area Article

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