After much anticipation, students, faculty, and staff were welcomed into the new Scanlan Campus Center with a Grand Opening celebration at midday on Tuesday, October 9.
Head of School Sheila Culbert called a special half day of classes and invited the school community to gather in Grubbs Quadrangle for a barbecue and ribbon-cutting before touring the new addition to campus.
Begun in spring 2017, the $30 million project creates a new campus hub for dining, gathering, learning, collaborating, relaxing, buying books and school gear, and running student organizations. The Scanlan Campus Center, a major expansion and renovation of the former dining hall building, retains some of the original brick façade and many of the architectural elements of the previous structure, but the added space and re-imagined layout give the school ample room for a variety of community activities in the heart of the campus.
Before entering the building for the first time, an eager crowd of students gathered in Grubbs Quadrangle outside the north entrance of Loomis Hall, where Sheila made welcoming remarks. She thanked the many people who gave generously and worked diligently to turn the vision of the Scanlan Campus Center into reality for the Loomis Chaffee community. Then a student representative selected from each class year took a turn at cutting the Grand Opening ribbon before students crossed the threshold of the building for a self-guided tour.
As they entered the building, students received Scanlan Campus Center "passports" and were invited by the deans to collect a Pelican stamp at each of six stops along their self-guided tour. The stops included the Zhang/Mao student activities suite on the top floor; the Tisch Family Dining Hall, the Loomis Hall student lounge, and the Alexander Bookstore on the main level; the Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI) on the lower level; and the Maas Family Terrace and the Silverstein Family Terrace.
The community was pleased with all the new spaces, even as some final touches are still being completed.
The official dedication will take place on the Island on Friday, but it seemed fitting to give students the first look at their long-awaited new home on the Island after enduring the 16-month construction project with minimal complaint.