Gilmour Academy is taking dramatic steps for students by building the Lorraine and Bill Dodero Center for Performing Arts, renovating Weber Stadium, and building outdoor classrooms for the upcoming Nature-Based Learning program. All three projects are expected to impact Gilmour life for the better by providing students with additional opportunities to learn about environmental science, ensure athletic safety, and explore full potential in the performing arts.
The outdoor classroom, which has specific academic and curricular focuses, is expected to be ready in August of 2019. Students will have a variety of hands-on activities to engage their learning about earth conservation and sustainability. Students will be studying the science of nature by farming and much of the food they raise is going to be donated to hunger kitchens and areas that need these resources.
According to Head of School, Mrs. Kathy Kenny, “Students will also be studying pollination and aspects and elements of sustainability that will not only have an academic focus, but also will make students better citizens of the earth so they know how to take care of it.”
At Gilmour, more than 85% of students participate in at least one sport. To help provide the student-athletes with more opportunities to realize their full potential, Weber Stadium is being renovated for many teams that use the field: Girls Lacrosse, Boys Lacrosse, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, Football, Track & Field, and Cross Country. Also, many other teams practice in Weber Stadium over the summer in addition to their own fields.
In the current stadium, the turf has to be replaced because of the concussion protocols in the state of Ohio. The protocols require a certain thickness of the fill under the turf. Every year, athletes play on the turf, causing the fill to thin over time. The current turf is 15 years old, and its worn surface now presents a challenge for the players. According to Will Foster ’21 and Dan Botek ’21, the current turf has hard spots and dips in some places. It has to be replaced to ensure student-athlete safety. The current track surface is also 15 years old and will be replaced this summer with a new, state-of-the-art material for enhancing safety and competition.
Besides ensuring student safety, the new turf will enhance student fitness. In this three-phase project, new bathrooms, locker rooms, bleachers, scoreboard, sound system, lighting system, and a concession stand will be built, attracting more students and fostering a sense of community.
Gilmour is committed to building and sustaining a culture of excellence in the classroom and in the community. The Lorraine and Bill Dodero Center for Performing Arts, tentatively opening in November of 2019, will have classrooms for speech and debate, advanced theater technology, a performance stage, and a dance studio/black box conversion theater for smaller performances.
Mrs. Kenny said, “We are putting in a floor in the black box theater that will have suspension appropriate for dance classes for Lower, Middle, and Upper School students. This will also meet the needs of the cheerleading team which currently practices in the weight room in the Athletic Center. Now they will be able to practice and perform on a floor that is better suited to their cheer routines.”
The Lorraine and Bill Dodero Center for Performing Arts will provide more practice spaces, performance spaces, as well as tech theater spaces for students. This addition to the Academy is expected to help students experience vocal and dramatic arts at a whole new level.
The Lorraine and Bill Dodero Center for Performing Arts and the outdoor classroom have been fully funded by the help of generous donors. While Phase I of Weber Stadium has been funded, Gilmour is still raising money for Phase II construction to start.
Every gift, no matter the size, will help see this initiative through completion. For more information about how to support projects, please contact Mr. Ray Murphy, Director of Institutional Advancement, at email@example.com, or visit gilmour.org/weberstadiumrenovation.