FAIRFIELD — Fairfield College Preparatory School has received a $2.5 million gift toward a new STEM center. The gift from alumnus Dr. James Barrett, Prep Class of 1960, and his wife April, will support a major science and technology renovation. The fourth floor of Prep’s Xavier Hall will be named the Dr. M. James ’60 & April P. Barrett Science Center.

“Fairfield Prep provided an exceptional foundation for my early education. My wife, April, and myself are delighted to give back to a community that we strongly believe in,” said Dr. Barrett.

The new Barrett Science Center will contain state-of-the-art science suites which combine classroom teaching with laboratory experiments in the subjects of biology and chemistry. The corridors will be active places for continued learning with common/breakout areas for collaboration.

“The impact of this project positions Fairfield Prep to build science suites that will allow our students with ready access to materials, space, and opportunities to learn through hands-on experience and discovery. We are incredibly grateful for the Barrett’s support,” stated Prep President Rev. Thomas Simisky, S.J.

This most recent gift comes on the heels of a $2.5 million gift from Chris ’73 and Elaine McLeod to launch Prep’s new, state of the art Innovation Center on the ground floor of Xavier Hall. This will be a place to encourage, facilitate, inspire and support hands-on interactive and collaborative learning. The McLeod Innovation Center will include a robotics center and makerspace, as well as serve Prep’s new Entrepreneurship Institute.

Robert Cottle, Prep’s Vice President for Advancement, recognizes the generosity of alumni: “All great schools thrive thanks to support from people like the Barretts and McLeods. Prep’s alumni are a dedicated and philanthropic group, which is a reflection of the outstanding work we do every day. This investment in Prep’s future advances our mission for generations to come.”

Both the Science and Innovation Centers are slated for completion in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 respectively.