ASB moves forward with plans to expand Carol LaRosa facility


Courtesy of Diana Neustadt

TIME FOR AN UPGRADE: The new design for the expansed Carol Ann LaRosa ASB Center includes a larger space for ASB students and other student activities to utilize. “We don’t have the space to do all of the activities that we like to do,” Costa said. “It’s a way to give a more updated approach to activities.”

More than 300 students are involved in the school’s Associated Student Body (ASB) but despite having such large involvement, the size of the current ASB room is unable to accommodate everyone. The ASB center is where students go to validate dance tickets, purchase clothing for special events, gather for lunch, ask questions and more. As a result, the ASB program, under the direction of Activities Director Diana Neustadt and Assistant Activities Director Jeanette Costa have decided to make plans for a $500,000 expansion to accommodate the growing participation in their program.

“We would like to expand the Carol Ann LaRosa ASB Center because we need more room,” Neustadt said. “When the area was originally built, ASB was very different. Student involvement in ASB and our office’s responsibilities have changed dramatically over the past 15 [to] 20 years, resulting in a need for more office and student space.”

Costa said that expanding the area has been an idea she and Neustadt have been discussing for several years considering the increasing number of students involved in ASB, as well as activities including clubs, club sports teams and academic teams. 

“We were looking at it, just because we kept running into the issue of, ‘Ah, if we had more space we could do that,'” Costa said.

In fact, Neustadt said that when she became the activities director in 2011, she “quickly realized that the space was not large enough for the program.” With the expansion, the updated facility will provide an area for poster making, planning, filming, and many more activities that the current space does not provide. The project will include a leadership classroom and study space, a student workspace, new directors’ offices, and a student welcome space.

“For example, having all [ASB and Class Officers together] in the room for a meeting is not possible,” Neustadt said.

Junior Class President Isabella Ross said that the construction will benefit Monarchs to come because it will create a comfortable environment for students to work together.

“Considering how much work goes into ASB and our events, I know it would be appreciated having a new space in which to create more great ideas and improve our school,” Ross said. “Whether they be prospective students or current students of Mater Dei, Monarchs will be inspired and motivated to bring change to our campus and work with others if they see a modern, clean working facility in which they will be spending most of their time.”

However, the construction project is not yet fully funded. As of Feb 1., nearly $300,000 has been raised, but ASB is continuing to fundraise by reaching out to alumni and current ASB members, along with Monarch families. Their goal is to be ready to break ground on the project by this summer.

“Many of the ASB alums recognize that being part of ASB was something that was important and helped them, so they are interested in furthering the plan,” Neustadt said.

If you are interested in learning more about the project and getting involved, visit here.