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Excellence, Leadership, Tradition

The Centennial Capital Campaign for Fenwick High School


Fenwick Master Facilities Plan

As Fenwick High School celebrates its 90th anniversary school year in 2018-19, we are excited to publicly embark on the Centennial Campaign for Fenwick High School!  This transformational campaign will lead Fenwick to its centennial celebration in 2028-29 and solidify the future of Fenwick for its second century.

With the recent announcement of a $3 million gift commitment from Mike Quinlan ’62 (read here) — the single largest gift in Fenwick history — The Centennial Campaign is well on its way to completion of Phase One of Fenwick’s master facilities plan.

Through a strategic visioning process a few years ago, the Fenwick community identified a number of needs that have to be addressed before the 2028-29 school year to ensure our school remains vibrant well into its second century. These needs are in five primary areas:

•   Academic, arts and student life
•   Athletic
•   Administrative
•   Facilities
•   Financial

In response to these identified areas of need, Fenwick’s Board of Directors, with the full support of the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great (based in Chicago), developed a master facilities plan (photo above) to address those needs. The soon-to-be-completed strategic plan and any subsequent strategic plans will be in support of this long range vision.

Planning for Excellence, Leadership, Tradition — The Centennial Campaign for Fenwick High School was then undertaken to not only address the master facilities plan but to address long-term financial challenges. The Centennial Campaign is a 10-year, strategic campaign to address Fenwick’s needs for 2029 and beyond.

Phase One includes two already-completed projects and a major improvement to the Fenwick campus, which begins summer 2018:

•   The completely refurbished and newly air-conditioned Pearl and Angelo Mazzone Chapel was officially dedicated on October 29, 2017. (see video).
•   Fenwick Field (an all-weather, turf field) at the corner of Division and Harlem was dedicated on September 7, 2017.
(see the dedication).
•   The final step of Phase One is construction of a 300-space Parking Center on Fenwick’s campus.

How many times have you worried about where you might park when coming to Fenwick? How many parking tickets has the Village of Oak Park written to members of the Fenwick community? How many prospective families have asked, “Where is my daughter going to park when she starts driving to school?” How many alumni haven’t attended an event here because of parking concerns? How many prospective Fenwick students have chosen to go elsewhere because of concerns over safe and accessible parking? The Fenwick community has been asking these questions for years. No more!

On July 2 demolition begins on two Fenwick-owned apartment buildings adjacent to the south side of Fenwick’s fieldhouse on Scoville Ave. For the 2018-19 school year that space will become a surface parking lot: just in time, as Fenwick has lost the nearly 100-car student parking lot on the corner of Oak Park and Madison that Fenwick had leased from the village for ten years. In the summer of 2019, construction will begin on the new Michael R. Quinlan ’62 Parking Center, with expected completion in 2020.

The total cost to complete all three projects of Phase One is $14-15 million. Nearly $12 million has been raised to date in The Centennial Campaign with almost $1 million earmarked for tuition assistance and/or endowment. $2 million has already been spent on the Pearl and Angelo Mazzone Chapel and Fenwick Field. The Quinlan Parking Center will cost $12 to $13 million (including demolition, remediation, site preparation, temporary paving, etc.), so $3 million to $4 million is still needed to complete Phase One:

Centennial Campaign dollars committed to date      $12 million
Spent on Mazzone Chapel and Fenwick Field              ($2 million)
Earmarked for Endowment/Tuition Assistance          ($1 million)
Dollars available to Build                                                  $9 million
Cost of Quinlan Parking Center                                       $12-13 million
Needed to Complete Phase One                                     $3-4 million

Completion of the parking center in phase one is critical to Fenwick’s future because it takes the “parking question” out of the enrollment decision and enables Fenwick to continue to attract families from a wide area of Chicagoland. Additionally, given the practicalities of construction on Fenwick’s footprint — while continuing to operate an excellent college preparatory high school with a full range of programs — the parking center must be completed in order for the other phases of The Centennial Campaign to commence, as Fenwick’s current parking lot will become a construction staging area for months at a time.

As Fenwick raises the necessary funds and the construction calendar permits, phases two and three of The Centennial Campaign will be completed in the years after 2020 and before our centennial celebration in 2028-29. These phases address many areas of student life and academic and arts programming:

Phase Two — Centennial Addition (view renderings) a four-story, multi-purpose building

  • 21st century classroom space and meeting areas.
  • New music, choir and art space.
  • New indoor athletic practice and training fieldhouse.
  • New ground-level dining room, kitchen, student union and landmark entrance.


Phase 3 — Interior Renovation and Exterior Finishing (view renderings)

  • Current cafeteria becomes a 250-person auditorium.
  • Current kitchen becomes athletic training/fitness area.
  • Creation of a campus-like feel with a quad, dramatic archway onto campus and landscaping, all in keeping with the collegiate Gothic style of architecture that elevates our students’ expectations.


Alongside the improvements in the master facilities plan, The Centennial Campaign also seeks to dramatically increase Fenwick’s endowment and ability to provide tuition assistance to deserving students. Many class and individual gift initiatives have been undertaken in the past two to three years to address this long-term financial challenge.

We expect planned giving to play an increasingly important role in Fenwick’s ability to reach its endowment growth goals. We have increased our educational initiatives about planned giving via newsletters and our website, and we continue to identify advisors within the Fenwick community who can provide assistance with sophisticated, tax-advantaged, even income producing gifts that can benefit you and/or your family, while also providing support for Fenwick.

As planned gifts — bequests, charitable trusts, life insurance, retirement assets, and so on — to Fenwick are documented, those benefactors are recognized by inclusion in the Bernacki Society. Fr. William Bernacki, O.P. was a Dominican Friar for 67 years and served the Fenwick community for many years in several different capacities. He recently passed away. We expect to see continued excellent growth in the Bernacki Society during The Centennial Campaign and beyond. For more information about the benefits of planned giving and/or the Bernacki Society, please contact Jean Johnson, Senior Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving:, 708-948-0308.

As Fenwick enters its 90th school year in 2018-19 and looks forward to its centennial celebration in 2028-29, we are keenly aware of and grateful for the history of sacrifice, benevolence and financial support of the Fenwick community. Fenwick’s tradition of excellence as a high school is interdependent with the camaraderie, success and support of the Fenwick community over the generations.

The ultimate success of The Centennial Campaign is also interdependent with our Fenwick community. This is a momentous time for Fenwick. Let us together secure Fenwick’s Excellence, Leadership and Tradition for another century with successful completion of The Centennial Campaign for Fenwick High School, over the next decade.

If you would like more information about The Centennial Campaign, please call (708-948-0350) or email Chris Ritten, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Fenwick High School (


Make a Pledge to the Centennial Campaign