Serra High School breaks ground on $17.5 million learning center

Junípero Serra High School broke ground to mark the start of the construction for a $17.5 million Stinson Center for Learning and Innovation. The 13,000-square-foot learning space, previously known as the Zoph Library, will be reimagined into a state-of-the-art student center.

The June 8 ceremony honored Ken and Ann Stinson, who donated $7.5 million to the project, the high school noted in an announcement.

“I am so deeply grateful that Ann and Ken Stinson have supported Serra by making the largest single alumni gift in the school’s history,” said Serra President Barry Thornton. “This gift enables Serra to move forward on the Stinson Center for Learning and Innovation, a transformative academic facility that will engage our students at the highest level. Their support, as well as other alumni, parents, friends and donors, allows Serra to educate young men to be a transformative presence for the good in the world.”

Opening in March 2023, the Stinson Center for Learning and Innovation will support student collaboration, Serra’s design-led innovation program, international student connection and the Serra Global speaker series. New facilities will include student collaboration rooms, presentation facilities, offices, video screens and renovated bathrooms. Critical infrastructure upgrades, including a comprehensive seismic upgrade and HVAC system, are included in the project.

The Stinson Center for Learning and Innovation is a project that comprises the next phase in Serra’s comprehensive renovation of the academic wing. Serra has contracted with Ratcliff Architects and Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Co.

Ken Stinson is the chairman emeritus of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc., headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, a North American construction and engineering organization with 2021 revenues of $12.1 billion, according to the high school.

He is a 1960 graduate of Serra High School and a 1964 civil engineering graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He served two and a half tours in Vietnam as a company commander with a U.S. Navy Seabee construction battalion. After his military service, he returned to school, earning his master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University.