A Magnetic New Space
Pomfret breaks ground on the new science center.
During Reunion Weekend, more than fifty alumni, members of the board of trustees, architects, construction company representatives, faculty members, students, and friends gathered for the official groundbreaking ceremony of the new science center. Head of School Tim Richards, Board of Trustees Facilities Committee Chair Buzz Yudell ’65, Director of Facilities Brenda Bullied, and Science Department Head Josh Lake all made remarks in front of the recently-poured foundation of the new building before groups of attendees posed for ceremonial photos.
While the construction of the new building was one day ahead of schedule on the morning of the ceremony, the discussion and planning phase for the center that would replace the former Ambrose Monell III Science Building has been in the works for decades. Bullied called the process a marathon but is proud of what Pomfret has accomplished. “In construction, there are often so many ideas left on drawing tables, projects never funded, and plans never approved. But we are in the race and can see the finish line.” With an anticipated opening in August 2024, the new facility will be nearly twice the size of Monell.
The official name of Pomfret’s new science center has yet to be announced. But, in his speech, Lake called it many things. “Monell, in essence, was a magnet, repelling all but the most determined to use it,” suggested Josh. “Thanks to the generosity of alumni and parents who have contributed to the Amplify campaign, we now have the chance to flip that magnet, convert it into an electromagnet, turn up the power, and attract a whole new generation of STEM-minded students!” He also described the new building as a:
- Microscope: allowing for our deepest and most focused scientific studies yet
- Spectroscope: a place where our scholars sample across the spectrum of scientific fields
- Telescope: for our most passionate students to look far into their futures
- Whiteboard: on which students will record their ideas, hypotheses, graphs, and conclusions for all to see
- 3D Printer: a generative space where student designs will be built up and made real
- Lab Bench: an open surface for equipment, notebooks, computers, and measurement tools, where so many students in the coming generations will have their first, key spark to become scientists
In his remarks, Richards thanked everyone involved in the project, including the Pomfret Science Center Design Committee, Annum Architects, Shawmut Design and Construction, the Pomfret Board of Trustees, and Nobel prize-winning scientist Jim Rothman ’67 — who brought his unparalleled expertise in science and science education to our planning and design. “We are affirming our history as an innovative and forward-thinking institution dedicated to the education and growth of our students. We are putting our strategic planning into practice and honoring our vision to inspire the next generation of change makers and problem solvers.”