The MMI Preparatory School campus was full of activity this summer and students saw multiple facility upgrades both inside and outside the school when they returned to classes on August 23 to open the 2016-17 school year.
Highlights of the facility improvements include ongoing construction on a new multi-purpose building near MMI’s athletic fields, improved drainage at the baseball and softball fields and new display cases outside the library to house Native American artifacts that were donated by an MMI alumnus.
The upgraded field drainage on the baseball and softball fields has made the fields more playable within 24 hours of a major rainstorm and will help eliminate much of the lost playing time that teams faced last season. In other outside repairs, the tennis courts were resurfaced and repainted with a new color scheme. Practices are already underway on the refurbished courts. Additionally, new rain gutters were installed on the gym and science wing.
“MMI tries to prioritize improvements to buildings and grounds that, first, have the greatest impact on student safety and, second, on student experience. Other improvements are done to keep the physical plant functioning in a way that puts emphasis on those two things,” said MMI Business Manager Ryan Jastremsky.
Just outside the Joseph A. Turri ’45 Library and Learning Center, new display cases were installed to house a number of items related to Native American culture that Dr. Philip McHale ’58 and Ms. Linda Tishko donated to the school. Dr. McHale acquired many of the artifacts and artwork during his 13 years as director of the Native American Center of Excellence Consortium for Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Dr. McHale also made a monetary donation to be used toward the construction of the display cases to help showcase these items along with other historical MMI artifacts and archival materials..
Several MMI classrooms were also refreshed to start the new school year. Fourteen chalkboards in eight different classroom areas were replaced with white boards, and new carpeting was installed in the music area. Additionally, new computers were purchased for faculty and staff members.
Jastremsky added, “These improvements provide us not only with updates to our academic areas but also to our athletic complexes and allow for the preservation of items that are pertinent to the history of the area as well as the school.”