Breaking Ground on the West Campus Center
May 11, 2017
On Thursday, May 11, the St. Sebastian's community gathered for the official groundbreaking of the School's new West Campus Center. This $31 million renovation and construction project, funded by the $55 million Spirit & People Capital Campaign, will add 49,000 square feet of new athletic, classroom and administrative space as well as 21,000 square feet of renovated space. The project will greatly enhance athletic and arts programming as well as provide additional and improved space for college counseling, admissions, administration and school archives. The Spirit & People Campaign also includes a major endowment component to help secure the School's future.
In the afternoon, the students and faculty assembled outside of the Administration Building for a brief ceremony, beginning with a blessing of the worksite by Fr. Arens. Jim Elcock, Board President, offered a few words. "I thank all of you for sharing in this moment," said Elcock, "as we embark on yet another milestone for our School, and together, we thank our dedicated faculty, administrators, parents, alumni and trustees who continue to build upon the wonderful mission and vision that is St. Sebastian's School."
Headmaster Bill Burke addressed the School community next. "Our new and expanded facilities will feature a theatre/lecture space for drama, college admissions, athletics, and other purposes; locker rooms for visitors, and for all coaches and referees – both male and female; two full basketball courts – one of which will have a balcony overlook; six squash courts; a wrestling room, which will accommodate two full mats and two sets of bleachers; administrative offices for athletics, admissions, college counseling, business, development, communications, and archives; conference rooms; and an elevator, providing access for all. This comprehensive building project will boost beyond measure our ability to deliver our arts and athletic programs and to call and inspire our young men to ever-rising peaks of excellence in body, mind, and spirit."
David Hinman, Athletic Director, and Student Body President-elect Matt Wolpe '18 also gave remarks about the many ways in which this new addition will impact the St. Sebastian's experience. Chief of Staff to Senator Richard Ross, Greg Casey, presented a Proclamation from the State House to St. Sebastian's School. The ceremony closed with a prayer from Fr. Paris.
In the early evening, prior to the annual President's Society Reception, the Board of Trustees and lead donors gathered for the official Groundbreaking Ceremony. Along with the blessing by Fr. Arens, Campaign Co-Chair Bill O'Malley P'09,'10,'13 shared his excitement about the project and what it will mean for the students and future of St. Sebastian's. Headmaster Burke and Jim Elcock also gave remarks before Fr. Drea delivered the closing prayer. The celebration continued in Ward Hall, where Campaign Co-chair Jack Connors GP'20 spoke about how far St. Sebastian's has come thanks to the School's leadership and generous support of current and past parents and alumni.
Bowdoin Construction Corporation has already begun work on the West Campus Center and the project is expected to be completed in September 2018. This incredible addition to the School's campus will not only have a profound impact on the athletic program, but the full student experience.