Holy Trinity Catholic School Creates Multipurpose Space That Caters to Student Testing

Holy Trinity Catholic School Creates Multipurpose Space That Caters to Student Testing

Student test performance is a hot topic in educational circles, where there is continued debate over whether some students will test better in informal, comfortable environments. Holy Trinity Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky is betting on the fact that environmental factors do indeed impact student test performance. 

MiEN recently helped the 800-student parochial school bring its vision for a more comfortable, inviting testing space to life. The multipurpose space would serve a variety of needs, with a particular emphasis on supporting students with learning differences who require a small group setting for testing.    

As MiEN began designing the space, school leaders liked the idea of it becoming a more multipurpose collaboration space so they could get support and funding from the church as they would be using it as well. This pushed the school in the direction of a “multipurpose space,” which could also be used for after-school classes, church functions, and other gatherings.  

Courtney Billig, Director of Student Achievement, PreK-4, says the idea for the multipurpose space came about in response to Holy Trinity’s 100 or so students who require pull-out testing, different accommodations, and/or more individualized instruction. 

“We needed a space where we could have multiple grade levels in a space at once, with up to 15 students in one space and 15 in another at any given time,” Billig said. “We needed a large enough space for that, and we wanted it to be something that was inviting, welcoming, and modern.”

An Uncommon Space

Holy Trinity picked the perfect place for its new multipurpose room: a common space that was central to the gathering area near the entrance to its church. The facility was previously used as a meeting space for adult faith formation and is part of the school’s building. The space itself didn’t need much renovation other than the removal of an aging mini kitchen and countertop. 

“We left the dividing walls in so that we can section the room off into two different spaces,” Lisa Moretti, Director of Student Achievement, 5-8, explained. Working closely with MiEN, the school reviewed renderings, tweaked a few things, and selected its color palette. “We chose colors like teal with pops of yellow and another shade of green and white. It looks great,” she added.

The school used funds from the Parish Picnic, along with donations, to pay for the new space, which opened for use for the 2023-24 school year. Special features include tables and chairs of different heights, individual study carousels and modular furniture that can be moved around and configured in different ways.

“The modular furniture was important because after school we have larger meetings in the multipurpose room, so we need to be able to move tables and chairs around,” says Billig, whose teams also wanted furniture and fixtures that could easily be wiped down and cleaned

“We also wanted a workspace with privacy panels between it just for individual work or testing,” Moretti adds. “Overall, our goal was to add a lot of flexible seating options of varying heights.”

Holy Trinity Catholic School Learning Space
Holy Trinity Catholic School Learning Space

Bringing a Dream to Life

The new space can accommodate about 60 students and is used by the school’s KYA and KUNA academic teams. When the school day is over, the church uses the multipurpose space for baptismal prep classes, Bible studies, and other gatherings.

Both Billig and Moretti say MiEN went out of its way to nail down the fine details for their project. “We’d start with something and throw out some ideas, and then MiEN would go back to the drawing board and provide a new rendering,” said Moretti. “That kind of collaborative partnership and flexibility was really nice.”

Billig also likes how MiEN helped Holy Trinity “bring a dream to life” one that she initially doubted could come to fruition in the way that it did. “We were also thankful that our priest, Father Shayne, listened and understood our students’ needs,” she said. “That allowed us to make this dream a reality.”

The school is already getting a lot of positive feedback on its new multipurpose facility. “The kids love going in there and using it,” said Billig. “Our principal takes families on tours who are interested in coming to our school and they have been astounded by the new space. Most of the Catholic schools don’t have a space like this that meets the needs of our students when it comes to testing and all the other uses it now offers. That’s also been an important selling point.”