What Press Releases Don’t Say About Ursuline’s New Building

Front row, from left: Bishop Kevin Farrell, Mayor Tom Leppert, and Ursuline grad Melinda Gates at the dedication of the French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center.

Lots of well-heeled folks were on hand this morning for the dedication of French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center this morning. Melinda Gates, who graduated in ’82 and whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation chipped in a cool $7 mil for construction, gave a very nice speech. Mayor Tom Leppert said a few words as well. Councilwoman Ann Margolinwas on the stage and House District 114 candidate John Wellik, president of the Ursuline Dad’s Club was in the audience.

The press release makes note of the 10 science labs, 70,000 square feet, LEED Gold certification, etc. But on my tour, given by seniors Stephanie Halovanic and Chandler Weisbart, I picked up a couple of tidbits that didn’t make the press release:

-The toilets have not one but two flush options. Depending on, you know, necessity. And they don’t have first hand experience but tell me that the urinals in the men’s restrooms are waterless.

-The cat ‘practicum’ (e.g. dissection), a rite of passage for Ursuline biology students, used to make the whole building reek of formaldahyde. But thanks to a new, efficient exhaust system, you can’t smell a thing, despite the fact that a class was readying their scalpels as we were walking around.

-In another dissection-related note, Melinda Gates, when she was a student, once spiked the soda machine with spare frog parts (kidney, bladder, lungs, etc.) leftover from biology class.

-They have a dedicated computer repair station called the Cave. (Computer audio visual education) for the laptops the girls get as freshman and keep for all four years and which inevitably are subjected to significant stress. The worst cases the repair guy has seen? One was damaged by a chemical spill in a chemistry lab. One was peed on by a chihuahua. Another was peed on by a cat. Guide Stephanie’s computer was being fixed. She assured me the problem was not pee-related.

-Ursuline girls are totally jealous of the HockaTOMS. Chandler told me a couple of girls approached an administrator to plead for TOMS to be an official part of the uniform.

For many more interesting facts, pick up the May 14 issue of Preston Hollow People.

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