“The Huddle” completed at MC


Jack O'Ryan

The Huddle, located between the main school building and Graham Center.

Walsh Construction provided before and after photos of the work on what is now The Huddle at MC. (Walsh Construction)

Mt. Carmel recently saw the completion of a new gathering area dubbed “The Huddle.” What was formerly a mostly empty area unutilized by most of the MC community has been revamped with new landscaping and plans for utilization in any number of ways by students, faculty, and event staff. Walsh Construction is responsible for the work that went into remodeling.

The Huddle is a mix of new pavers and landscaping in the courtyard. The new space also includes precast benches, ornamental trees, decorative lighting, and an irrigation system to keep the landscape watered and looking beautiful.

Mr. John Byrne, Vice President of Operations at Mt. Carmel, wants students and faculty to feel welcome in The Huddle.

“I hope that it will bring space to students and teachers to talk together, pray, and enjoy outdoor space,” said Mr. Byrne. “The Huddle is about 98% complete. All that’s needed are just a couple of more add-ons.”

New water and electrical service directly on the left side of the walkway are getting their finishing touches. The new-look is already being praised as a beautiful outdoor space that will bring further pride to the MC community.

So who has access to the new space? “Anyone is more than welcome to come to visit The Huddle,” says Mr. Byrne.

It will offer an alternative to the school chapel in that it can potentially be used for small prayer services and personal reflection time. Teachers will have access to it during the school day to take lessons outside the physical classroom, and extracurricular groups and alumni events can also hold gatherings in the new space.

As far as the new look, the pavers may remind some of what Chicago looked like when MC was first built. Fencing and seating make for an open yet private area, and the backside of The Huddle has trees and new sod that compliment the new stone installments, along with new walkways and a retaining wall. The highlights of the new space may be the historical masonry pieces from St. Cyril School and Mt. Carmel of old that have been repurposed.

A new lowered door entry and steps can be seen as soon as one passes the side of the retaining wall. The lowered door entry will give easier access to those who are entering in and out from building to building on MC’s campus. This should ease some traffic congestion as students move between class periods.

The new addition to the campus is most welcome at Mt. Carmel. Members of the MC community will appreciate another bit of beautification of the historic school.