News Post

New Building News
New Building News

Expansion at St. Mark's Episcopal School

Building a Brighter Future for Our Community

After just three and a half months of construction, the doors of a new building at St. Mark's Episcopal School opened to students last week. School administrators held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday for the 9,600-square-foot-facility located on the west side of campus, adjacent to the school.

Construction began in April, after months planning, permitting, and preparing for the new space. The building formerly served as a warehouse for a geological analysis labthat recently relocated. After innovative plans were developed by the architecture team at Inventure Designs, the entire warehouse was gutted and renovated by CTC Contractors. In spite of a tight timeline, David Finklea, a Project Manager with Savills Studley, was able to complete the extensive overhaul of the space.

The new building includes four middle school classrooms, several offices, a half-court gymnasium, a teacher workroom, and The Moran Idea Lab. At the center of the new space, the Moran Idea Lab is truly the heart of the new building, providing an innovative, collaborative space for all students to foster design thinking and problem solving. It is walled with writable surfaces, which will inspire creativity and openness. The Moran Idea Lab and the four classrooms include contemporary flexible-use furniture that can adapt to the myriad of activities that occur in the modern day classroom.

According to the Headmaster of St. Mark's Episcopal School, Garhett Wagers, "Our new space is the inspiration for a forward facing look at teaching and learning. It is designed to inspire curiosity and creativity and allows the room and the tools for ideation and innovation. I have no doubt this will influence our entire campus."

With the additional space, St. Mark's is increasing overall academic opportunities and program options such as athletics, fine arts, leveled academic courses, performing arts and languages. The gradual expansion will be achieved by adding up to 14 students per grade, for a total of 54 students in grades 6-8.

On Friday, August 14, a cocktail party was held for major donors in the new building. Attendees experienced a sneak peek into the finished space, while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and a champagne toast. On Saturday, a family-friendly open house was held for donors at any level. Students in attendance were able to sit in the desks and admire the building's modern fixtures. On Sunday, the Reverend Patrick J. Miller, Rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, gave a blessing of the new building, sprinkling consecrated water on the doors. Joanie and David Andrews, Capital Campaign Chairs, completed the ribbon cutting ceremony and shared a few remarks.

David and Joanie Andrews, Campaign Chairs, described their feelings towards the expansion project, "We are thrilled for the opening of the new St. Mark's Episcopal School expansion and are excited for the staff, faculty and students as they start a new chapter in the long, prestigious history of the St. Mark's community.St. Mark's has enjoyed tremendous success as a result of the outstanding leadership of Reverend Patrick Miller and Headmaster Garhett Wagers.This expansion is a result of a coordinated strategic vision to grow and foster an environment of spiritual development and academic excellence within a child-centered, nurturing atmosphere.We feel extremely blessed to be part of St. Mark's and have enjoyed watching our children thrive in their school home."

The $2 million capital campaign, which kicked off in late March is well on its way to achievement, with over $1.4 million raised to date. Anticipating the completion of the campaign by the end of 2015, Lou Ellen Stansell, Director of Development, shares, "Our St. Mark's community is already very generous, but the response to this additional campaign has been overwhelmingly positive.We are so grateful for all of our supporters and key volunteers.Without their help, this building would not be a reality."

If you are interested in touring the new building or learning more about the expansion project, please contact Lou Ellen Stansell, Director of Development by phone 713-667-7030 or by email

Want to see more photos from the Opening Events or learn more about the campaign? Click here!