Visitation begins $10.5M addition

Convent of the Visitation School in Mendota Heights has begun construction on a $10.5 million addition to the religious institution.

Part of the project is a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building at the Catholic school. Also being built is a new entrance and additional classrooms and study areas.

The STEM center is scheduled for completion next spring and the remainder of the project during by 2013-14 year.

The project includes 17,800 square feet of new construction and 3,500 square feet of remodeled space.

Visitation said the expansion will include large and small engineering assembly areas, a machine shop, practice areas for the award-winning robotics program, a conference room, four new classrooms, five new study areas, and an expanded dining room.

Dawn Nichols, head of Visitation School, said studies show that girls benefit from early exposure to math, science and technology. She said a growing number of students are choosing to pursue STEM-related careers, including a number of robotics team members whose involvement inspired them to study engineering. 


Budget listening sessions planned

The Lakeville School District will hold listening sessions for residents wanting to talk about the upcoming budget.

The events will be held Oct. 23 and Nov. 5 at the Crystal Lake Education Center, located at 16250 Ipava Av.

Also in Lakeville, the Lakeville Area Learning Center is offering a new program for adult learners to improve conversational English skills through the use of Skype. The conversational coaching program allows participants in any adult education class to be paired with volunteer conversation coaches for once- or twice-weekly "chats" via Skype, the free video service.

The 30- to 60-minute sessions offer learners a chance to improve their English skills from home, a classroom or any location with computer access. To participate as a learner or to volunteer as a conversation coach, call Anne Glassman at 952-224-6817 or e-mail or Angie Farrell at 952-469-2732 or


Academy honors three St. Paul men

St. Thomas Academy bestowed two of its highest honors on three St. Paul men.

The school gave the Opus Sancti Thomae Award to Tom Schreier Sr. and Tom Schreier Jr. and the Edward G. Hames Alumni Honors Award to John "Buzz" Myser.

The Opus Sancti Thomae award is given annually to someone who has made outstanding contributions to business, civic, church, educational and professional communities. This year, for the first time, a father and son are co-recipients.

The Hames award goes to alumni who have exemplified the ideals of the all-boys academy and distinguished themselves in their communities.