St. Ignatius High breaks ground on DiSanto Hall

Construction officially got underway yesterday on a $40 million renovation and construction project at St. Ignatius High School, next to its Wasmer Field. The renovated library and added classrooms, locker rooms, offices and more (Perspectus). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

$40 million project to be done by Fall 2025

Shovels hit the soil yesterday at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood in a groundbreaking ceremony for a renovated and expanded academic building to be called DiSanto Hall. The building, when complete in the Fall 2025, is being named for the project’s largest donor Fred DiSanto and his wife Brittan.

Fred DiSanto is director and chief executive officer of Cleveland-based Regional Brands Inc. He is a former chairman of the Board of Regents of St. Ignatius High School and former chairman and current trustee of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. He is a past board member of Lorain National Bank and Parkview Federal Savings Bank. He graduated from St. Ignatius in 1980.

The DiSantos gifted $10 million to the school’s Campaign for Vision ’30, which has an ultimate $50 million goal. Their gift will be used to fund the construction and future operation of DiSanto Hall, featuring a new three-story academic wing and renovations of an area called “the back quad,” just off Lorain Avenue and west of the existing Wasmer Field athletic facilities.

School and community officials turned dirt with gold shovels yesterday to commemorate the start of construction for St. Ignatius High School’s DiSanto Hall project in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood (Kerry McCormack).

According to plans submitted to the city’s Building Department, the total floor area of the building renovation and construction project will encompass about 86,393 square feet. Work include renovations to the existing library and the construction of a new, 55,000-square-foot academic building to provide academic learning spaces, locker rooms, athletic offices, academic offices, relocated mechanical space and facilities support space.

To make room for the expansion, St. Ignatius earlier this year demolished the century-old Carroll Gymnasium and an adjacent power plant built in 1946. A new central power plant was installed in the basement of the library last year. The $40 million project cost was identified in Perspectus Architecture’s construction permit application filed in October 2023 with the Building Department.

“We have been working with Brittan and Fred for several years on plans to enhance our visual arts facilities,” said Father Ray Guiao, president and chief mission officer of St. Ignatius High School in a written statement.

View of what an interior quad at St. Ignatius High School is proposed to look like following library renovations and construction of DiSanto Hall (Perspectus).

“With their gift, we will not only see those plans become reality, but we are also able to significantly enhance our academic facilities with several new classrooms, student common areas, and student support services,” he added. “We are extremely grateful to Brittan and Fred for their ongoing generosity and their passion for our mission.”

“Congratulations @SIHSCleveland on the groundbreaking of the new DiSanto Hall academic building! Godspeed!” wrote Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack on the X social media platform in attending the groundbreaking ceremony.

The project’s construction team is led by New York-based general contractor Turner Construction which has an office in Cleveland. Design work was done by Fielding International of Minneapolis that also did St. Martin de Porres on the city’s near East Side as well as Magnifcat High School in Rocky River. Fielding partnered locally with Cleveland-based Perspectus Architecture.

A rendering of an interior room at DiSanto Hall, now under construction St. Ignatius High School following yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony (Perspectus).

“Perspectus is grateful to be a part of the team working on the Saint Ignatius campus renovation and additions,” the company said on Instagram. “Teaming with @fieldingintl and @turnerconstructioncompany, we are certain these campus improvements will elevate the daily lives of staff and students alike.”

“We believe that the collaborative efforts of all involved parties will not only enhance the physical infrastructure but also contribute significantly to fostering an inspiring and dynamic learning environment for generations to come,” the company added.


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