Text and photos by Gregory A. Shemitz

Hailing it as a “historic day for our Chaminade family,” Marianist Brother Thomas Cleary, president of the Mineola high school, presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, May 20, celebrating the grand opening of the school’s $23-million Dolan Family Science, Technology and Research Center.

See slide show below.

The 34,000-square-foot building features state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with cutting-edge technology that will benefit students seeking an advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning experience.

“It’s a game changer,” said Brother Cleary.

The center, located on the northwest corner of the Chaminade campus, boasts seven teaching labs, a meteorological observation deck and high-tech teaching and design tools, including virtual dissection tables, hydrodynamics simulators, computerized lab probes and 3D printers.

A Foucault pendulum, a huge metal ball that swings rhythmically to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation, is the centerpiece of a bright and airy lobby. White oak floating stairs connect the three levels of the center.

Brother Cleary welcomed a crowd of nearly 400 people, including Chaminade students, parents, faculty, alumni and benefactors, to the center’s opening ceremonies. Mass in the school’s auditorium preceded the event.

“The Dolan Family Science, Technology and Research Center is a landmark on our campus and in our 90-year history,” said Brother Cleary. “Most importantly, it is a landmark in the lives of today’s Chaminade men and those who will follow.”

The red brick-and-glass structure will provide students with an educational foundation that could potentially yield great discoveries in a variety of disciplines, Brother Cleary said.

“This center is about finding a cure for cancer, unlocking the secrets of autism, cracking the wall of Alzheimer’s, it’s about protecting the environment, it’s about using the resources we have been blessed with to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Brother Cleary. “We want our Chaminade men to be men for others and for our world.”

Brother Cleary also expressed his gratitude to the more than 2,500 donors who contributed to the capital campaign that financed the construction, which began in January 2016. The center, which was designed by the architectural firm Mancini Duffy in collaboration with the school, was named in recognition of a gift from the Dolan Family Foundation.