Head of School Jim Dunaway gives opening remarks at the building dedication ceremony Aug. 31. (Photo by Chuck Wainwright)
On Aug. 31, hundreds of supporters and community leaders gathered to celebrate the dedication of the new state-of-the-art facilities on the campus of Manlius Pebble Hill School. MPH parents, students, trustees, VIPs and staff got a glimpse of the 28,000-square-foot Arts and Athletics Complex just six days before the start of the 2017-18 academic year.
The multi-purpose addition is designed to showcase student-athletes in action even as it celebrates the work of student-artists. The athletic facilities feature basketball and volleyball courts, locker rooms, a fitness center and a trainer’s room. A separate wing features expansive art rooms, digital studio space and galleries to highlight the sculptures, sketches, and paintings of students in grades pre-K through 12.
Attending the ribbon-cutting was John Wildhack, Athletic Director at Syracuse University; Elle Hanna, Director of Communications and Media Relations for Centerstate CEO and new MPH parent; Peter Dunn, President & CEO of Central New York Community Foundation; Larry Harris, Executive VP and CFO at SAAB Sensis; Monica Merante, Director of Philanthropic Services at Central New York Community Foundation; John Mezzalingua, MPH Board President and alumnus and Founder of CEO of JMA Wireless; and MPH Head of School Jim Dunaway.
Mezzalingua fully funded the $7 million facility which will be dedicated to honor his parents, Kathleen and Daniel Mezzalingua, who was present for the celebration.
The Mezzalingua family tree has deep roots at MPH. Daniel graduated in 1956 from The Manlius School, which later merged with the Pebble Hill School to form MPH. Five of Daniel’s six children graduated from MPH, including his late daughter Laurie. The Laurie Mezzalingua ’86 Center for Early Learning, which houses the Pre-K and Kindergarten programs was funded by the Mezzalingua family and dedicated in 2006.
John Mezzalingua himself attended MPH from ninth grade through his 1987 graduation, and all four of his children are current students. As a local philanthropist, John gives to MPH to express his gratitude for the many ways this school inspired, challenged, and prepared him and his family to serve the Central New York community. He also firmly believes in the MPH mission.
“We are so unique,” John said. “I believe these new facilities will help MPH keep its promise to each student – which is to prepare them for a rich life of critical and creative thinking as well as community contribution.”
“We can’t wait to leverage this expanded footprint to serve our students more comprehensively,” said Head of School Jim Dunaway. “This is a tremendous step forward for Manlius Pebble Hill School and a truly historic moment in our nearly 150-year presence in Syracuse. We now have a place where the entire school community can gather, where students have the needed resources and space to pursue their interests and develop their gifts more fully. These facilities will advance the School’s mission in ways that deeply impact the student experience – and they’re just the beginning of enhancements to come.”