CBC Students Get Used to Pros–and Cons–of High-Tech Campus

“You can’t say your dog ate your laptop.”

By: Kate Miller
Staff Writer

About five weeks into the school year, students at Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School are getting comfortable at their new digs in Town and Country. The new $45 million CBC sits on a 25-acre campus at 1850 De La Salle Drive. It’s hard to miss while driving along Interstate 64 (Highway 40) and its interior is more impressive than that in the old, stately campus to the east.

Not only is the new school roomier, its learning amenities rival those on many college campuses. The school also has gone high-tech. Dry-Erase boards are dinosaurs in the classrooms. They’ve been trade in for SmartBoards, which mimic a teacher’s computer screen and have touch capabilities.

The 1,010 students at the new building walk the halls with their laptop computers strapped to their shoulders. They bring them to almost every class. Hard drives have been taken the place of folders, spiral notebooks and even some textbooks. At the old school in Clayton, students didn’t have laptops, and only one classroom was equipped with a SmartBoard.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect at the new school because of all the computers and everything,” said Tim Prewitt, 17, of Des Peres, but he’s getting used to the system.

“There’s a lot of different resources you can use, and it keeps you more organized,” he said. “You don’t lose papers. If you miss school, your teacher can e-mail your homework to you.” In other words, there’s no getting out of doing homework assignments.“You can’t say your dog ate your laptop,” Tim said. “It just won’t fly.”

Perhaps, though, the high-tech aspect of the new school isn’t everything. The first thing Lu Alleruzzo, 17, of Ballwin wanted to see after three years at the old school was the new theatre.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s a state-of-the-art theatre.” The new theatre boost computer digital sound and set lifts the old school could not accommodate. Lu, a regular in school plays, said it will enhance performances, but there are backstage perks as well. “The coolest thing is the dressing rooms for the cast and we have our own lounge,” he said.

Then there are other little conveniences the new school offers, such as more spacious hallways and lockers, and more stairways. At the old school, stairwells were designated as “up” or “down” because they were too cramped for students to move in both directions. The inconvenience could make students late for class.

“Sometimes people would cheat (walk the wrong way) and they’d get detentions,” Tim said. “Here it takes a minute to get to class.”
The new school, which is shaped like an “H,” has classrooms and science labs on the south wing and an activities department on the north wing.

The activities wing includes a competitive sized gymnasium with hardwood floors; a television-studio department and a workout room that rivals those belonging to pro football teams.

There is much more parking on campus than at the old school, enough to handle several after school activities at the same time.

“It’s everything you want,” Lu said. “If you could design a new school, I don’t know what else you could want.”

Donations have helped finance the new school. People and businesses that donated $1,000 or more are recognized in stone, so to speak. Their names are engraved in bricks that are laid into the sidewalk leading into the school’s main entrance.

The war memorial, school archives and some stained glass fixtures from former school were moved to the new campus.
The public is invited to attend CBC’s open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 19. For more information, call (334) 995-6098.
You can contact Kate Miller at katemiller@yourjournal.com

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