McKim Jean-Pierre '15, Sally Mixsell '69, Hank Tarbell, Darcy McCormick Tarbell '70, Peter Buttenheim, Mayor Bill Martin, Charlotte Newton '71, and Allison Porter '89

McKim Jean-Pierre ’15, Sally Mixsell ’69, Hank Tarbell, Darcy McCormick Tarbell ’70, Peter Buttenheim, Mayor Bill Martin, Charlotte Newton ’71, and Allison Porter ’89

The Stoneleigh-Burnham School community gathered today to celebrate the grand opening of a new student center. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to officially open and celebrate the new indoor and outdoor spaces.

Board of Trustees Chair Allison Porter ’89 welcomed donors, alumnae, parents, grandparents, students, faculty, staff, and town officials. She thanked Head of School Sally Mixsell ’69 for her leadership.

Mixsell explained that renovation and construction of a student center grew from the school’s master plan.

“We wanted to choose projects that would, first and foremost, enhance the lives of our students,” she said.

Mixsell thanked the many people who had a role in making the project a reality, from donors and alumnae to faculty and students, from the architects and contractors to the school’s maintenance and dining hall staff.

She recognized several key donors for whom new spaces are named: Trusttee Charlotte Newton ’71, Leadership Council members Darcy McCormick Tarbell ’70 and her husband, Hank, and Peter Buttenheim, Leadership Council member and grandfather of Francesca Eremeeva ’15.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the fact that what were only dreams not too long ago are now realities,” Mixsell said.

The ceremony opened with a performance by the Octet, who sang “What a Wonderful World,” and student McKim Jean-Pierre ’16 spoke about what the new spaces mean to students.

Also in attendance were Greenfield Mayor William Martin, Town Councilors Penny Ricketts and Isaac Mass, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce President Ann Hamilton, and Greenfield Business Association Coordinator Caitlin von Schmidt.

The new student center includes a renovated student lounge, a new windowed-lined corridor to the dining hall, and a foyer outfitted with a new viewing screen for sharing information. The foyer opens up to a new terrace with a pergola and furnished with dining tables and chairs and colorful rocking chairs overlooking the school’s front lawn. A new student café, still under construction and to be completed soon, is also part of the project.

Construction began in May and a groundbreaking ceremony was held. This is the first new construction project at Stoneleigh-Burnham in 15 years. Two years ago, the school launched a $1.2 million Bridge Fund to address the first phase of capital projects in a Campus Master Plan and build enthusiasm around the vision for the future. The new student center construction is part of Phase I of that initiative. Phase II includes four smaller projects: a renovated art gallery, renovated bathrooms in a boarding corridor, renovation and addition of the tennis courts, and an expansion of the fitness center.

Juster, Pope, Frazier Architects of Northampton and general contractor Mowry & Schmidt of Greenfield worked on the project.

Click here for a gallery of photos of the construction project.