Forman School Headmaster Adam K. Man spoke of how the plan for today's ceremony really began in 2007 as part of a vision of Forman's needs and aspirations, for now and well into the future. An expansion plan was decided after much deliberation. The Science Center was built first because the teaching of the sciences had progressed from a "demonstration class to a hands-on class."
Next up was The Visual and Performing Arts Center.
The Visual and Performing Arts Center was conceived as a way to serve our talented, creative Forman students and their artistic dreams and ideas," said Adam K. Man. "The new facility would help the faculty to encourage students to create things that would blow everyone away. This was the dream for the campus. We also dealt with the practical by renovating certain spaces, adding dormitories. But we always had this dream.
It has been a project of great love and many students, faculty, trustees, and staff have been involved in the process. Today all of that effort has come to fruition. It is an amazing space.
Forman is filled with talented, creative students with artistic aspirations and inspired ideas," said Man. "The Visual and Performing Arts Center will allow Forman students to dream big and to execute those big dreams."
Scott Sutherland '67, President of the Board of Trustees – brought even more perspective to the ceremony by recalling his days as a student at Forman in the 1960s, a time when space was precious and many rooms and buildings on campus were used for multiple purposes. "My biology and math classes were in Beecher House. The chemistry lab was in the basement of what at the time was the dining hall and is now the renovated Student Center. My art class was in the basement of Hopkins, a boys' dorm at the time. We shared that space with the occupants of the dorm. One half was the art classroom and the other half was the boys' shower. It was perfect!"
Sutherland noted that the faculty and staff of Forman has always been devoted to providing the best education possible and have always made optimum use of available resources. The opening of the Visual and Performing Arts Center will continue that mission by "providing students and teachers with state-of-the-art tools that will give them the best opportunity to achieve the greatest success."
Trustee Fred Lione spoke of how the conceptualizing of the Visual and Performing Arts Center began in 2012. A highlight of the process was the selection of the architect, Maryann Thompson, who separated herself from the competition by approaching the project with an open mind.
We interviewed five architects and they all came with their PowerPoints and their gray suits," said Lione. "They really missed what Forman is all about. Maryann came in with no PowerPoint. She arrived with a box of wooden models and some scrim, the brown material that architects draw on. After an introduction, she began asking questions of the selection committee. She took the time to learn our hopes and dreams for the project. That is why the building we have today fits so organically on our campus, completing a space that links Williams, the Science Center and the Visual and Performing Art Center to form an academic quad."
For photos of the event, click here.