The Rivers School has begun construction on a 34,000-square-foot academic facility that will serve as home to its science and visual arts program. In addition to providing the school with spacious, state-of-the-art science labs and art studios, the $21 million Center for Science and Visual Arts will house several interdisciplinary classrooms, further enhancing the school’s already strong emphasis on interdisciplinary education. The Center is scheduled to open in January 2020.


“Rivers prides itself on offering a rigorous, interdisciplinary program that fosters within our students the creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration skills needed in today’s world,” says Head of School Ned Parsons P’17. “This new center will let us build on that excellence. It presents opportunities to do more sophisticated lab experiments, engage in more hands-on learning, create exciting independent study projects, and promote more collaboration between people and disciplines.”


The visual arts program will be housed on the first floor of the center, and will be able to take advantage of five spacious art studios big enough to accommodate large-scale art projects, as well as multiple gallery spaces where students can display their projects. The second floor will house the labs and prep rooms for the science program, as well as a digital fabrication studio where students can design 3D models using computer-aided design software, and then manufacture those models for testing using 3D printers, laser cutters, or a CNC router.


Funding for the Center is coming from a newly announced $50 million capital campaign called FutureMakers: The Campaign for Rivers. It is the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history. The size, goals and theme of the campaign were announced publicly during a special celebratory kickoff event held in the Optum Field Lounge at Gillette Stadium yesterday evening, Tuesday, October 30. More than 400 invited guests, including faculty, parents of current students, and alumni, were on hand to share in the announcement.


In addition to Parsons, speakers at the event included Harley Lank P’21, president of the school’s board of trustees; Dan Kraft P’12,’15,’21, trustee and campaign chair; and Louise Cummings ’98, trustee and a 1998 Rivers alumna.


The school has already raised $36 million toward its campaign goal, money that was raised over the course of the last two years during the “quiet phase” of the campaign. These early campaign gifts made it possible for the school to begin construction of the Center before the campaign went public this week. Particularly critical to the project was a $5.4 million commitment made by Weston resident Dan Revers P’15, a member of the school’s board of trustees and parent of a Rivers alumnus.


In addition to funding the construction of the new Center, the campaign will be used to increase the schools financial aid budget, fund the development of innovative new programs, pay for the recently completed athletic turf field, and provide more funds for faculty support.

“The launch of this campaign is a milestone moment for Rivers,” says Parsons. “We have a clear vision of where we want to go as a school and of the kind of innovative educational experience we want to be able to offer our students. It is an ambitious vision that will reshape our campus, enhance our ability to attract and retain the best teachers, and enable us to make our school accessible to a more diverse community of students. This campaign will provide the financial foundation to turn our vision for Rivers into a reality.”


More information about the campaign and the new Center can be found at www.RiversFutureMakers.com.



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