We recently passed the halfway point in this school year. Wow! Time rushes by so quickly. Nothing tells you that more than the pace of the construction of our new building, Manrell Hall. It will be finished in less than six months!
Take a look and you will see that most of the windows have been glazed and VC's characteristic red brick walls are covering the concrete shell. As you look through the doorways and windows, you can see the plumbing, the wiring, and the steel studs of the interior walls in place. Soon, the workers will be mounting the drywall as the classrooms take shape. So far, the construction is on schedule and within budget.
One of the exciting tasks currently underway is to decide on and then order furniture for the new building. With the help and guidance of the architects, Principal Johnny Bevacqua ordered a number of different types of school furniture which teachers and students have been "test driving" so we could see what works and what doesn't, what the students like and what they don't.
At the end of January, Johnny and Assistant Principal Rob Kozikowski attended a school furniture trade show in Los Angeles, where various manufacturers displayed the latest in all sorts of school furniture. Some of the displays were actually in a nearby school where they could see kids of all ages using the furniture. They were able to ask these children what they thought of the different designs of chairs, tables, desks and other furnishings. Johnny and Rob came home with lots of notes, photos and many good ideas. They have to work with our faculty to determine which items will serve our VC boys best. Oh, and they have to do it within our budget!
Manrell Hall is the first phase of our project. It contains our new cafeteria, the learning commons which includes the Middle and Senior School Library, learning assistance and counselling services, outdoor learning spaces and eighteen classrooms – all to be open in September.
In early May, the Board of Directors will decide whether to proceed immediately to start construction of the second phase, based on the progress of fundraising and other factors. This phase includes the new Elementary School with its own gym, library, learning assistance areas, the school Chapel, the Brothers' Residence, and a consolidated administration area. If construction does proceed right after Manrell Hall is finished, the entire project will be finished by May of 2020.
If you have not yet made a gift to Our Next Century Campaign, I invite you, indeed I encourage you to do so now. Please visit the Our Next Century website and consider a multi-year pledge. Vancouver College needs your help.
Semper Fidelis!John H. Nixon, VC'69, President.