More than once during Saturday evening’s Night of the Lion gala, Saint Viator High School officials described the addition of air conditioning to the building last summer — and the difference it made for students and faculty — as lifechanging.

Nick and Katie Papanicholas addressing the crowd. (Photos by C.J. Zimmerman/Saint Viator High School)

They credited Mount Prospect residents, Nick Papanicholas and his wife, Katie, with making this lasting impact on the school. They recognized the couple’s contributions with one of the school’s highest awards, Legacy Award.

“Together, their commitment and dedication are foundational and have brought us to this time where we enjoy newly remodeled classrooms, air conditioning throughout the school and a learning environment that is first class,” said the Rev. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Interim Chief Administrator of the school. “In the process, they donated a tremendous amount of time, expertise and service, and with, I imagine, a lot of sweat, which allowed this project to be completed within budget — and on time.”

Nick Papanicholas, Jr. is President of Nicholas & Associates, based in Mount Prospect. The construction company has many contracts with municipalities and school districts, while developing commercial and residential properties, and sports facilities, to name a few. Currently, the company is renovating and adding onto many of the schools in Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and developing many of the new residential units in downtown Mount Prospect.

Katie Papanicholas has a thriving business in her own right. She owns Gold + Oak, a unique home decor boutique in Mount Prospect. She says the concept evolved from her work with Nicholas & Associates and staging some of its models.

Still, while the couple is actively involved with projects in and around the Northwest suburbs — and beyond — Nick Papanicholas calls Saint Viator High School, home.

He and his three younger siblings attended the school — Nick graduated in 1997 — and the first of his four sons is a student there now. During his remarks, Nick described the lifelong friends he made at the school, as well as what drives he and Katie.

“It’s about the future, future students, future athletes,” Nick Papanicholas said. “It’s about the lifelong staff that give so much to our school and our kids. It’s about making an impact on the school and leaving it better than when we found it.

“It’s about believing that the foundation is formed,” he added, “when you walk through those hallways.”



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