1945, a new era began. Brother Paul Ambrose shepherded the move to a full
college and better facilities were needed. Brother Francis Xavier, a professor,
was placed in charge of building a gym, with a price not to exceed $100,000.
Brothers came to the property during the summers to dig the foundations.
Brother Francis hired masons for the brickwork, but student brothers mixed
the mortar and toted the bricks. A crane was hired for two days to place
the trusses, but student brothers arranged the remainder of the roof beams.
The roof itself was constructed under the direction of Brother Paul Ernest,
the physics teacher. The scholastics took one week off during the fall
of 1947 to pour the concrete floor. All concrete was mixed by hand, and
Richard Foy was part of the mixing crew. His job was to unload a bag of
cement into the hopper. Three loads of stone and three loads of sand (1
cubic foot each) were dumped into the bucket by Brothers John Alexius
and Simeon Arthur. Then Brother Dennis Murphy added the water. Other student
brothers toted the cement in wheelbarrows, and still others troweled the
mix under the direct supervision of Brother Francis. Later, heat and plumbing
was added to the building using a friendly electric contractor and a steamfitter
from Kingston who posed as a 'Brother' whenever the union representatives
1949, Brother Francis Xavier transferred to Esopus where he handled a
large renovation to the English Village, adding a huge gym and transforming
the village in many ways. The architect was a former brother from Baltimore
who respected the character of the English Village by placing the plainer
brick additions out of view.
This photo (left) shows the melding
of the original classic stone and slate with the modern brick addition.