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Boosting School Spirit and Enrollment with an AlphaGraphics Makeover

Since its inception in 1961, generations of students have spent their formative years at the Shrine of St. Anne School in the heart of Arvada, CO. Known for its commitment to academics, athletics, community, tradition, and Christian values, St. Anne’s is beloved by its pupils, alumni, faculty, and staff. But while just outside of its walls, the town of Arvada grew, evolved, and thrived over the decades, within St. Anne’s, little changed. Enter AlphaGraphics! See how a building makeover helped create a fresh, modern environment to bolster school spirit, impress prospective students, and reinforce the values that are at the heart of the St. Anne’s experience.

The Problem

Pre-makeover hallway at Shrine of St. Annes School The St. Anne’s community is proud of its storied past, but they needed some help embracing the present (and getting ready for the future). Much of the school’s interior hadn’t been updated since the building was originally completed over 60 years ago, and it showed. Additionally, St. Anne’s didn’t have an established visual identity. Several competing versions of its logo were in use, creating a confusing and inconsistent brand. A lack of established brand standards meant that no two printed materials looked the same. Facing shrinking enrollment and growing competition from local private and public schools, St. Anne’s recognized the need to modernize its appearance and solidify its brand. The goal was to ensure that the school’s aesthetics were a match for its proud history and commitment to quality education. School administrators needed a way to modernize the building to boost morale and increase enrollment by making a more positive impression on prospective families.

The Solution

Post-makeover hallway at the Shrine of St. Annes School. The AlphaGraphics team first took the time to meet with key St. Anne’s decision makers, including principal Theresa Donahue, to understand the school’s history, challenges, and goals. What did the school administrators want people to feel when they toured the school? What were the most important elements to be highlighted in the brand? What were the main motivations behind the makeover? The first step was to address the St. Anne’s brand. The team created a logo for the school incorporating its tagline, “Rooted in Christ, Knowledge, and Tradition,” ensuring that the school values would be represented in all official materials. A brand color palette was also developed to help keep the school’s printed materials and interior design looking visually consistent. The top priority for the school was to make a better impression on prospective families that came to tour the building, so AlphaGraphics designers and signs experts worked on a plan to redesign the lobby and entryway, main stairwell, corridor, and classroom – all celebrating the history of the school while leaving dated designs in the past. The makeover was completed in tangent with remodeling the floors, ceilings, and light fixtures, and repainting walls and doors. Wall graphics were installed throughout high-traffic areas, with displays sharing the story of St. Anne’s and honoring the donors who help support the school.

The Results

The crowd reaction at the grand makeover reveal at the Shrine of St. Annes School.The makeover was completed over the summer break, and the school welcomed students back to a fresh, exciting new learning environment. School administrators and teachers quickly noticed a difference in student morale. Students were invigorated and proud of their school. “I just feel better going there,” one student remarked to his father, St. Anne’s alumnus Bob Bell. The difference became even more apparent when fundraising and enrollment efforts kicked off. Although COVID cut attendance in half for the school’s big annual fundraiser, the Crystal Ball, it still brought in double the amount of donations compared to years past. And by early 2022, there was already a stack of enrollment applications on principal Theresa Donahue’s desk — where in prior years, one or two at most would have been received this early on. “Prospective families are commenting on how good the school looks when they come in for tours,” said Donahue. “People just wouldn’t comment on the building before.” As parent Bob Bell put it, “When you walk into our school now, the vision of what we stand for is very tangible. It’s bright, fresh, and clean. Students are proud to invite their families and show off their school.”

Does Your School Need a Makeover?

Many schools are in the same position that St. Anne’s was. Old buildings and outdated decor don’t reflect a school’s high standards when it comes to academics, athletics, and community. As a result, morale and enrollment may suffer. After all, when parents are choosing where their kids will prepare for their futures, they’re not looking for a school that’s stuck in the past. Modernizing and refreshing a school’s appearance with an AlphaGraphics makeover can create a lasting positive impact. Contact your local AlphaGraphics center today to learn more about the possibilities for your school!

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