Restoration underway at St. Bernard Library

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Photo shows a helicopter delivering HVAC units to the top of the Heidrich Building at St. Bernard Prep.

CULLMAN – Construction crews arrived the first week of October to begin restoration of St. Bernard’s main library building.  Under the direction of general contractor Eidson and Associates, workers began the demolition phase on Oct. 8, 2015.  With the recent completion of this phase, work has now begun on the construction phase. The 333 Club has been established to raise the remaining funds necessary for completion.

During construction, the interior of the library will undergo a complete renovation.  In order for the building to meet today’s codes and requirements, new electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning are required.  In addition, a new roof and new thermal windows will be installed.  An elevator and public bathrooms on every floor are among the new features being upgraded and added.

In the great room on the library’s first floor, the cross by Fr. Timothy Harrison will be restored and a balcony on the southern wall will be constructed.  Archways and a grand stairway will provide access to both the monastic and school libraries.  A board room, an alumni/benefactor room and the Abbey archive will round out the features of the first floor.

The classrooms on the mezzanine and top floors will be outfitted with the latest technology needed for the education of students.  An office for the faculty and the school administrator will be among the additions as well.

“It’s exciting to see this library come back to life,” said Fr. Marcus Voss, development director.   “For over 30 years we have not had a central library.  Now, with the growth in our enrollment and expanding needs of our Abbey, this building will truly become a center for the liberal arts on our campus.”

To provide funds for the renovation of the library and other capital improvements at St. Bernard, the Campaign for St. Bernard began November 2012.   The early donations to the campaign were used to create the Abbey Byre, a reception hall for the Abbey and the center of the drama and music programs for the school.

“The library will be completed by the end of June and our goal is to complete the campaign at the same time,” said Fr. Marcus.  “We have already received pledges of $4.3 million toward our $5.2 million goal.  To help us close the campaign and complete the renovation of the library, we’ve established the 333 Club to raise the last $900,000.  St. Bernard needs 300 friends and alumni to pledge $3,000 payable over the next three years.  We’re close, and I know with the help of our supporters we’ll reach our goal.”

For more information about becoming a member of the 333 Club, please contact Fr. Marcus at 256-531-2010 or   All donations made to the campaign and to the 333 Club are tax deductible.