Prep Talk

The Prep Opens Its Doors to Those Affected by Sandy

Posted November 6th, 2012


For the second consecutive year, St. Augustine Prep opened its campus and facilities for relief services and housed evacuees fleeing the affects of a natural disaster. This time around, the educational-turned-triage facilities were utilized for six consecutive days.

The evacuees arrived on Sunday, October 28. Displaced by the impending fury of Hurricane Sandy, the 68 medically needy men, women, and children arrived in waves to the campus.  The Buondonno Forum, the largest building on campus, was immediately reimagined. The lobby – traditionally a welcoming place for visitors and students – was transformed into a registration center for the processing of evacuees. The Rodio Gymnasium was filled with hospital beds and medical equipment. The Board Room was converted into a makeshift command center for the Federal Emergency Management Agency on-site leadership.  The Consalo Dining Hall was used to feed the evacuees and volunteers. The Honors Dining Hall was converted to serve those with special medical needs. In total, the Prep served as an evacuation center for six consecutive days.

The story of generosity and loving service to our neighbors does not end with the Prep opening its doors to the evacuees. On Friday afternoon, when the last of the evacuees was relocated off of the Prep’s campus, the challenge of transforming the facilities back to educationally oriented institution began in kind. In a response indicative of the spirit of service, faculty, administrative, students, assisted the Prep facilities staff and parent volunteers to restore the school to operating status.

The ceiling of the Consalo Dining Hall at the Prep, which protected the evacuees from the elements during the storm, bears out the mission of the school, and is painted with the following words: “To see the face of God in others through loving service to our neighbors.”  Perhaps no event better represent this mission in action than the housing of evacuees during Hurricane Sandy and the volunteer efforts of parents, families, school administration, faculty, staff, and students transform the institution from an educational facility to a medical shelter and back again.

Photo: The Rodio Gymnasium at St. Augustine Prep was converted from an athletic facility to a medical shelter overnight in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.