Today, Harker took a historic step toward building the new athletic center and performing arts center as students, faculty, staff, donors and the board of trustees broke ground at a special afternoon ceremony on Rosenthal Field, site of the new facilities.
Head of School Chris Nikoloff made some opening remarks to the crowd before introducing Diana Nichols, chair of the Harker board of trustees and former head of school. She began by thanking the donors who were present at the ceremony for their vision and generosity. “I can’t say enough about the board of directors, who have worked quietly and in the background on every detail of this project, and without whose effort it could not have come to fruition,” she said.
Addressing the students, she said, “you are the very heart of this project. Everything we have done and are doing is for you, and I thank you for being the kind of student body that inspires the adults in your life to want to do good things for you.”
She also brought to the podium construction manager Dave Albert, architects Kevin Hart and Bill Bondi, and Devcon Construction’s Gary Filizetti and Andy Schatzman, who were all recognized as key figures in bringing the new facilities from conception to reality.
“We were fortunate enough to have true leaders in the personas of Jeffrey and Marieke Rothschild,” Nichols announced. The Rothschilds’ $10 million matching gift was crucial to making the project possible and “inspired others to rise to the challenge,” Nichols said. Shortly after, the Harker Eaglets presented flowers to the Rothschilds.
Several groups of people were then given the honor of breaking ground with gold-painted shovels. Members of the board of trustees, donors, Harker faculty and staff, the construction team, performing arts chair Laura Lang-Ree, athletic director Dan Molin and student council representatives of every grade level all took turns digging.
To celebrate the historic and symbolic gesture, all attendees gathered at the center of the field for a drone fly-by and a celebratory blast of (biodegradable) confetti.
This ceremony was the latest in a series of campus-altering efforts that included the moving of three large trees to a space outside Nichols Hall. The site of what was once the upper school campus Montessori building has now been transformed in a set of parking spaces for teachers.
Beginning in June 2016 Harker launched two new state-of-the art building projects on the upper school campus, the result of a $45M capital campaign. The 33,000 square-foot athletic center, opening August 2017, features a 12,000 sq.-ft. gym, athletic training room with advanced hydrotherapy unit, and spacious team rooms. The Rothschild Performing Arts Center, opening spring of 2018, features a 450-seat theater with fly loft and hydraulic orchestra pit, a state of the art scene shop, vocal, instrumental, theater/musical theater classrooms and dressing rooms. For more information visit the news and video links below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org