By Juan Carlos Ramirez
The process of expansion always involves many moving figures and every decision administrators make take into account the need of our students, according to Brophy president.
President Ms. Adria Renke said that the board of trustees make the decisions on spending.
“There is a board of trustees that is the governing board of this school,” Ms. Renke said. “There are 13 people on the trustees. I am one of them. Mr. Ryan is also a non-voting member. If we are going to spend over $500,000, the board of trustees must give us permission to do that. We just can’t go and spend money willy-nilly.”
As the president, Ms. Renke said that tuition money is used purely for educational outlay.
She said that the money used for the buildings like Piper Math and Science building or the Fr. Harry “Dutch” Oliver, S.J. Athletic Complex are raised by the vice president and herself.
“The president’s job and vice president’s job is to figure out what we need,” Ms. Renke said. “Figure out how to pay for it. Don’t get into debt. Don’t run the school down. And this is a very important one, your tuition dollars only go towards your cost of education. None of your tuition dollars goes to this stuff [buildings] you see. That is the sign of a stable school. When we figure out that your tuition dollars can cover the cost to educate.”
Brophy’s campus has gone through a large physical change over the years, and Ms. Renke said that this was all part of a plan.
“I’ll go back 20 years,” Ms. Renke said. “Fr. Reese was the president then, and I was his wingman, the vice president. We were both new. To get our arms around the school, we did something that is called a strategic plan.”
She said that they talked to many people and got their input on which direction they should take Brophy.
“People wanted us to build a football stadium that we would use six times a year and then it would be empty,” Ms. Renke said. “The things that really erupted was that we needed to get Brophy ready for technology. There wasn’t a computer on campus. We need to expand our Fine Arts program. Kids were in a work shed with drafting pencils and drafting tables. We needed to get our science and math beefed up. We needed our athletic facilities beefed up. People still could not believe that we still had that one gym. Remember that locker room in that gym. We were woefully inadequate.”
Mr. Steve Smith ’96 said that Brophy’s campus has gone through significant changes that even affected the schedule since he attended the school.
“This is going to sound kind of awesome, but I only took six classes when I was here,” Mr. Smith said. “So every Monday through Thursday we got out at 2:10 p.m. Every Friday we would get out at noon. It sounds great, but we didn’t have Eller and we didn’t have arts program at all. I took like zero art classes at brophy. It just didn’t exist. That’s why Fr. Reese helped us build Eller and some other buildings. He brought us an art programs. So I think I would much rather go now a days and have these fun art classes.”
The most recent expansion of Brophy is the “Dutch” gymnasium.
Ethan Mena ’18 said that this new gym makes it more accessible for any student to lift weights.
“It is definitely more accessible for any student,” Mena said. “In the old weight room, teams would always be down there. You would be able to get some reps, but now you have two new weight rooms. The downstairs if the teams want to use it and upstairs is for anyone who wants to use it.”
Mr. Smith said that he feels blessed with the new weight room because it is at a different level than most franchise gyms.
“I didn’t really use it that much,” Mr. Smith said. “I feel blessed that our new gym is better than like LA Fitness and these health clubs. If I have an hour to spare and I’m grading, I want to not grade for a few minutes, walk over to the new gym, work out for 14 minutes and then come right back to grade some more. I’m just blown away by how blessed we are to have that new gym.”