On Monday, April 9th 2018 St. Mary’s University opened the doors to a unique new space on campus, The Mauro Gallery, within the historic Water Tower on the St. Mary’s campus.
This amazing new space was made possible by a generous donation from Tom and Debra Mauro whose commitment to St. Mary’s and the initiatives on campus has helped ensure that the St. Mary’s continues to provide innovative new spaces and opportunities for students and the community.
The historic water tower left a lasting impression on Dr. Gerry Turcotte, President and Vice-Chancellor of St. Mary’s University on his initial campus visit in 2011 after arriving in Calgary from a previous position in Sydney, Australia.
After six years of planning his vision and dream finally became a reality for all to share.
“It’s hard to describe what it feels like to see a long-held vision come together,” said Dr. Turcotte.
“Especially when you have such a clear idea of what the project can look like and then, to your amazement, it exceeds all expectations. That’s what it was like yesterday when everything came together: the amazing space, the amazed crowds, the music, the art and of course this remarkable 100-year-old tower now an art gallery. Just breath-taking.”
Dr. Turcotte’s vision was executed by the skilled heritage architects at Chalmers Heritage Construction, who were able to restore and renovate in a heritage manner while highlighting the unique aspects of the water tower itself such as showcasing the original water pump as the centrepiece of the room located directly under the sky-lighted interior roof.
Modern technology has also been incorporated into the space in the form of stylish lighting as well as audio and video equipment that will allow this space to be used for a multitude of different functions.
“In one evening we have already seen the potential for this gallery,” explained Dr. Turcotte. “It brought together friends of conservation, of art, of heritage, or learning, of faith: everyone gathered together in this space to celebrate.”
“This is what it will be going forward – a meeting space at the very heart of the campus.”
Indeed the Mauro Gallery inside the Water Tower at St. Mary’s University will serve as a defining space on a campus that only continues to grow thanks to generous supporters such as the Mauro family.
“Words aren’t enough to say thank you to the remarkable Mauro’s,” said Dr. Turcotte. “They are visionaries, they are social justice advocates, patrons of the arts – and thank God for us, they are believers in St. Mary’s University.”
“We are so unbelievably grateful to have supporters like them.”