This article originally appeared in the summer 2016 Harker Quarterly.
On May 3 Harker took a historic step toward building its new athletic and performing arts centers. On that day, students, faculty, staff, donors and the board of trustees gathered and broke ground during an afternoon ceremony on Rosenthal Field, site of the new facilities.
Since Harker’s founding in 1893, the school has been committed to bringing out the best in students by helping them discover their talents and reach their full potential. It was with this clear vision in mind that Head of School Chris Nikoloff made his opening remarks to the crowd before introducing Diana Nichols, chair of the Harker Board of Trustees and former head of school.
Nichols thanked the donors for their vision and generosity. She gave a special thank you to alumni parents Suhas and Jayashree Patil (Teja Patil ’02) who were in attendance and were among the first visionary benefactors who supported the expansion of Harker to include a preschool. The theater in the performing arts center will be named in their honor. Nichols acknowledged the close involvement of the Harker trustees, noting that they have worked quietly and in the background on every detail; without their effort the project could not have come to fruition.
Addressing the students, she said: “Students, 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.”
Nichols noted that Harker was fortunate to have true leaders in Harker parents Jeffrey and Marieke Rothschild (Isaac ’14; Jackiel, grade 12). “The Rothschilds’ $10 million matching gift was crucial to making the project possible and inspired others to rise to the challenge,” she said.
Shortly after, the Harker Eaglets presented flowers to the Rothschilds. In addition, the Patils were honored for being the first donors to support the capital campaign for a theater. Numerous groups of people were then given the honor of breaking ground with gold-painted shovels. Members of the board of trustees, donors including faculty and staff members, the construction team, performing arts chair Laura Lang-Ree, athletic director Dan Molin, as well as student council representatives of every grade level, all took turns digging.
Harker continues to focus on all aspects of the school’s mission by supporting numerous, broad extracurricular programs that enhance opportunities for students to discover their passions and thrive in their respective fields of interest. Whether playing on the court, taking center stage or participating in one of many extracurricular events, these new facilities will have a long-lasting positive impact on all students and their families.
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