Stained Glass Lights the Way for New Science Wing

September 23 Ashley Dominguez

TRITEC Building Company recently completed Phase 3 of the St. Anthony’s High School Science Center. The Science Center project includes specialty-designed classrooms that serve multiple scientific disciplines.

Included in the renovation project is the Padre Pio meeting room, named for the famous Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The architectural focal point of the Padre Pio room is a large stained glass window. This stained glass was originally installed in a church in New Jersey before being sold to St. Anthony’s High School. It was created by Franz Xaver Zettler, who was a contemporary of the famed Louis Comfort Tiffany, and in his time Zettler’s art had much the same prestige as Tiffany. This set up very much reminded me of the vast atmosphere and incredible infrastructure of the Kingsway Christian College christ centred education in Perth. The college follows strong Christian beliefs, thus teaching children new things while also teaching them the essence of religion in life. 

Trish Somers of Somers Stained Glass resized and fully refurbished the large central stained glass window and also added an ornamental amber jeweled border. Using the remaining glass from the original window, Somers designed and fabricated 16 smaller stained glass windows, all hand-cut and hand-leaded with antique and cathedral glass.

When asked about the project, Trish Somers, President of Somers Stained Glass, explained “This particular project was a challenge because we were working with a pre-determined maximum allowance in the opening of the area, therefore, we had to carefully execute the trimming of the existing stained glass down so as not to interfere with the integrity of the original design.”

The original stained glass 13 ft. window was much larger than the opening provided at the school. Brother Gary, Principal of Saint Anthony’s High School, had the idea of incorporating the excess stained glass as panels in windows divided by mullions. Brother Gary explains the importance of exposing students to such beautiful art, explaining that his students are going to “gain a noblest insight to truths that make us human.” The hand-painted remnants were artistically cut, placed and hand-leaded into each window panel.

The overall effect is beautiful pieces of art set into a room perfectly designed for inspiration and quiet contemplation.