Fourth-grader Sonia G. and first-grader Nolan T. looked gamely on, showered in what must have been the most applause for using scissors either child had ever received in his or her life.
But these were big scissors, to match the big audience of more than 600 watching the pair cut the ribbon that officially opened the renovated Lower School, as well as the 2016-17 Country Day school year.
The effort was the first project completed under the Room to Grow umbrella, demanding years of preparation and months of intensive construction work to produce a space ready for class on Day One.
After walking through the new entrance, Lower School students and teachers were greeted by a bevy of improvements, including 226 new lockers, 9,000 square feet of new flooring and bright sunlight shining through 105 new windows. Finally, beneath 14,100 square feet of new roof — and for the first time since the wing was built in 1954 — 33 air conditioners whirred softly, introducing a new level of comfort to the Lower School.
Head of School Steve Lisk, speaking before Sonia and Nolan took center stage, declared that, “A vision — the right vision — has been realized.”
Lisk stood flanked by Head of Lower School Caroline Badri, Room to Grow Campaign Chair Bernadette Milner Gardner ’87, Board of Trustees President Sandi Abraham, Campaign Honorary Co-Chair Sally Jarvis, LCDS Project Representative Tom Porsch, Property Committee Chair L.J. Bloom, and representatives from Wohlsen Construction and Murray Associates.
Praising the effort and ardor of the campaign volunteers and giving special thanks to all those generous donors who helped make the day’s celebration possible, Lisk spoke of Country Day’s bright future and the profound dividends students and teachers will reap for years to come from the transformed Lower School.
As parents, grandparents and friends looked on, seniors walked hand-in-hand with kindergarteners and first-graders through the new entrance, into a fresh school year and a new era for Country Day’s Lower School.