HAMMOND - A $1.45 million renovation project officially opened last week as the Whelan Innovation Center. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the center, which was funded through the support of community donors and the Gary Diocese, will house the new Bishop Noll Institute STREAM Lab.

School leaders first announced plans last year for the facility.

The center will create a unique space for the Catholic high school's "STREAM" curriculum. The program includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics fundamentals found in STEM education and adds a focus on on religion and arts.

The facility features 3D printers, a Makerspace and prototyping lab and 30 computers equipped with AutoCAD engineering software. 

The space is also designed to have open work tables for robotics projects, and features an upper-level study space in redeveloped natatorium spectator seating and can accommodate about 90 students on the lower level.

The new lab is slated for its first classes in January. 

"Our students deserve this space," Bishop Noll Principal Lorenza Jara Pastrick told the publication. "If we can motivate students into these fields where it's their opportunity to be in the future, we have done our job for Northwest Indiana." 

Read the full story from The Times of Northwest Indiana by clicking here