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In 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 came around.

In 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 classic stone and slate with the modern brick addition.



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last updated on June 10, 2004