DeWitt Manlius Pebble Hill School has announced it will build an estimated $2.8 million Learning Commons on its DeWitt campus. The nearly 9,300 square foot facility will be a state-of-the-art library, media, and technology center designed for the way students gather information and learn in the 21st century.
Construction of the new building will begin in June and is scheduled to be completed before the start of the 2014-2015 school year. The project is being funded by a multi-year capital campaign that has raised $9.7 million for Manlius Pebble Hill’s endowment and for campus construction and renovations.
The Learning Commons will be named in honor of Bradley McNeil, a former student who died 11 years after graduating from MPH in 1993. It is the second new building to be financed by the capital campaign. The school’s Center for Early Learning, which opened in 2006, was the first. It houses the MPH pre-K and kindergarten program.
Fundraising is continuing for construction of a student center expected to open in the fall of 2014, for a new playground, and for additional campus renovations. Further construction – including a second gymnasium and a new performing arts center – is included in the school’s extended master site plan.
The Bradley McNeil ’93 Learning Commons will encompass flexible information- gathering and study spaces suited to a vigorous academic curriculum; a multimedia and distance learning classroom; separate spaces for Lower, Middle and Upper School needs; group study rooms to accommodate student and faculty collaboration; and technology infrastructure that will meet current and ever-changing technology needs.
Scott Wiggins, head of school at MPH, said the design of the new facility anticipates a global shift toward education that relies increasingly on both collaboration and technology.
“One of the most critical skills we can help our students develop is the ability to break away from singular pursuits into effective and broad collaboration," Wiggins said. "Their success in the world will depend on that ability to share information and work in tandem with others to innovate and problem-solve.”