Governor Wolf Announces Conversion of Former Nursing Home into STEM-Education Classrooms in Bucks County

August 23, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding to convert a former nursing home into STEM curriculum classrooms and collaborative learning spaces for Villa Joseph Marie High School, an all-girls Catholic college preparatory school in Holland, Bucks County.

“I am proud to make this investment in Bucks County to prepare more students, particularly girls, for careers in high-growth technology fields,” said Governor Wolf. “Pennsylvania is already among the national leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and expanding training opportunities like this will help ensure that we have a talented and trained workforce that companies need for these good-paying jobs.”

Villa Joseph Marie High School was awarded a $1 million grant to renovate the second floor of the north wing of St. Joseph’s Hall into a series of classrooms that include a new media center, a video and sound recording studio, robotics lab, technology makerspace, academic strategies center, and small group instruction space, as well as math, science and all-purpose classrooms. The conversion of St. Joseph’s Hall into education space was also supported by a $500,000 grant in 2017.

Workforce development is a key initiative of the Wolf Administration. The Villa Joseph Marie High School expansion will foster a strong learning environment for STEM education for girls, an under-represented demographic in many STEM industries. Enrollment space at the school will increase by 80 students, and 12 new faculty are expected to be hired as a result of the expansion.

“Women and girls are historically unrepresented in the STEM fields, though we’re starting to gain ground,” said state Rep. Helen Tai, D-Bucks. “This investment will open so many new worlds for the girls at Villa Joseph Marie and the returns from it will reach far beyond the school campus. Promoting strong educational opportunities in STEM will produce a workforce well-suited to keep Pennsylvania and women at the forefront of innovation and technology. I thank Governor Wolf for recognizing the value of this project in advancing job creation through education and wish the students and administrators of Villa Joseph Marie all the best as their state-of-the-art facility moves forward.”

Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), funding will support critical expansion projects, some of which will provide opportunities for additional economic development.

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