The Scarpa Arts and Sciences building was completed in the Summer of 1998. The centerpiece of the building, a cavernous room with the Southward-facing windows, was designed as a library. At that time, libraries were commonplace on almost every college campus in the nation. The designation of space for a library at that time was a reflection of the Administration’s desire to develop a more collegiate campus life for St. Augustine Prep students. New for the 2013-2014 Academic Year, that space has been repurposed as a Study Commons, integrating social, educational, and technological assets for a new generation of Hermits. The books and shelves were removed (a nod to the unprecedented access to information that the new iPad system has enabled), tables and chairs for student groups were expanded, and a cafe-style point-of-sale was installed. This year, the Scarpa Building is a place for students to gather, study, relax, eat, and recharge both the person and the technology.
The repurposing of the Study Commons, in many ways, is a testament to the independent spirit of St. Augustine Prep. The design and layout of the campus is one of many reasons that the school is unique. As a Catholic, Augustinian, college-preparatory school, the Prep offers an educational experience unlike any other in South Jersey. The conversion of the library to Study Commons represents a holistic commitment to college preparation by creating an collegiate atmosphere for student life.