On Aug. 25 over 350 students, parents, alumni and faculty gathered for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of the science and technology building, Nichols Hall.
Preceding the ribbon-cutting, science teachers shared their favorite aspects of the building including the new collaborative space, robotics room, special projects room and, in the atrium, a large-screen monitor displaying energy savings from the solar array on the green roof.
Anita Chetty, US science department chair, noted, “As Harker teachers, we get to play everyday. We get to think. We get to create. And now in this incredible facility, we get to do it as anyone would dream of doing.”
Lon Allan, chairman of Harker’s Board of Trustees, recognized the contributions of lifetime trustees Howard and Diana Nichols for their “extraordinary vision, dedication and leadership at The Harker School for more than four decades,” by announcing the Board’s unanimous decision to name the new building Nichols Hall.
MS history teacher Patricia White admired the building, pointing out the beautiful aesthetics. “I think we really needed the space for students and this brings us up to being a world-class prep school,” White said. She thinks that the LEED certification will “put us on the map as a very progressive school. We’re known for our science. We’re known for our math…We are putting our priorities in the right order and we are actually fulfilling what we preach.”
After the Nichols’ cut the ribbon, attendees poured into the new building, exploring the new classrooms and teaching space. “I wish I was a high school student right now,” Anshu Das ’05 said, shaking his head in disbelief as he looked at the Foucault pendulum in the rotunda. “I think it is starting to set a standard. Any building made from here on out only has to be better than the last.” Neil Shah ’08 added, “I have never seen anything of such caliber. It certainly changes the way you look not only at this campus, but of course at science and technology.”
Howard Nichols addressed the guests and discussed the 20-year planning process and the hard work of all who were involved in the project. “Our vision has always been to build the best school in the world,” he said. “I don’t know if anyone can claim that distinction but we certainly know we are one of the best, and we are only going to get better.” Diana Nichols added, “It pleases me to think that, in this building, the next generation of scientists will start forming ideas that will fuel the future.